Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bujang Valley Archeological Museum.

While on our way to Gunung Jerai, we made an impromptu visit to one of the most mentioned places in Malaysian textbooks – The Pengkalan Bujang Archeological Site and The Lembah Bujang Archeological Museum in Kedah. Two places within a few kilometers of each other but hardly any visitors.
It was not hard to find the archeological site since I had a GPS in hand (God bless those folks who made GPS available to the common man/woman). Just follow the instructions and you’ll find this weirdly fenced up area in the middle of a paddy field. Right next to its main gates is someone’s house! Firstly it wasn’t open to public (hence no proper signboard at the location itself). Secondly there wasn’t anyone around to answer our questions. So we took one random shot and head straight to the museum instead.

We weren’t sure if the museum was opened in the first place or not because it was an impromptu visit. And apart from guiding us to our destination, Miss GPS couldn’t tell us the museum’s operating hours. Upon arrival, we found out that the Lembah Bujang Archeological Museum is closed twice a year – on the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and first day of Hari Raya Aidiladha (Haji). Entrance is FREE!
When we walked in, we were greeted by 2 staffs. They asked us to sign the guest book which we happily obliged and proceeded entering the museum unescorted. From what I gather for my observation is there is about 50 archeological sites in Kedah. Unfortunately, there weren’t any details on the site’s location. Well, they did write about which artifacts came from which site number, but they didn’t say where the site was. To add more confusion to the already clueless, both the staff that greeted us had no idea what was the site number for the Pengkalan Bujang Archeological Site that we just visited! So we won’t know what was plucked out from that land behind those fence…
The attempt of having all the artifacts described in bilingual was done half heartedly. Some of the exhibits had both English and Malay but mostly only Malay. If I were to bring my daughter here again in the future, I would personally have to do quite a LOT of homework. Never mind that almost everything is written in Malay, I have no problem understanding the language. It’s just that those who, what, where, when, why and how are mostly left unanswered. NONE of the exhibit has dates on them to show if the artifact was a recent find or not. Take the exhibit of the glass fragments below. They never mentioned where exactly the glass was found or any detailed information to prove that the glass was from 13th Century AD (i.e. carbon dating) and not from someone’s old perfume bottle!
Hubby argued that because the museum depend 100% from the government for financial aid and charge nothing to the general public, I shouldn’t complain so much. Yes, I know we entered that museum without paying a single cent (yes, even parking is free). But there was so little information, my mind felt like those fragment of glasses. Just bits and pieces here and there; how am I to recommend or even bring someone to this museum when I as a local have no clue?
Many exhibits were worn out by the elements, but one stood out beautifully. A granite carving of Lord Ganesha, the most perfect undamaged fine carving. According to the description label, its finding location is unknown. So to speak, this museum holds this fine and detailed carving of Lord Ganesha but don’t know where it was found. Could it really be from somewhere in Bujang Valley or was it plucked from the temples of Borobudur??
Outside the museum are temple ruins which are mostly reconstructed. But with the hot glaring sun, we couldn’t stay long.
Name: Bujang Valley Archeological Museum (Muzium Arkeologi Lembah Bujang)
Address: Merbok, 08400 Kedah
Telephone: +6044572005
GPS location: N 5°44.237 E 100°24.858
Decimal Degree: Lat 5.737289 Long 100.41430
Entrance Fee: FREE OF CHARGE
Visiting Hours: Everyday 0900-1700 Hrs
closed on 1st day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and 1st day of Hari Raya Aidiladha


  1. Thanks for the details.
    As one having the Chola Kingdom area in South India as my mother Land,
    I am very interested to visit this archeological sites. I have read in my schools the Greatness of King Raja Raja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola who is given the title of " Kedaram Vendran " meaning the one who conquered Kedha.At that time I did not know where is this Kedah.
    Well, now I know


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