Tuesday, March 12, 2019

KL Review: Bank Negara Museum A Hiddem Gem in The City

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 0 Comments
By chance, I was scrolling on my grab and I saw excellent reviews for BNM. And let me tell you, it is well worth the visit.

They have a total of 4 floors, and the top most floor is reserved for art gallery, One entire floor is dedicated to the first Governor of Bank Negara. I can't remember what the names are for each floor. But you can get the guide leaflet there anyways. The person who designed the museum is incredibly creative. There is a bicycle that lets you to time travel virtually, a forex exchange trading simulator, a real bank vault, real money on exhibit, currencies of the world, ancient money and artifacts, touch button informative sensors, a whole area dedicated to Tun Ali and his personal loans [collection of match boxes, personal diary during the Malaya-Singapore separation, his original office desk & chair, Tolstoy, his certificates, his medical check-up certificates-the amount of details that was put in; it is just incredible. I was mind blown. There is also a bit of Islamic Banking but I have seen better in Doha Islamic Museum. The children's Learning Gallery is on the ground floor-and the tunnel at entrance is filled with real, I repeat real money amounting to RM 1 million. From floor to ceiling, all you see is money cleverly glued to shape a dome archway that leads you inside Children's Learning gallery. Also very Instagram worthy. The entrance to this only opens from the outside, so you are forced to walk all the way to the other end; exit and walk back to the entrance if you want to go in again. They have an ATM for you to take out paper money [not a real ATM, and not real money] but it teaches your kid how to use an ATM to wicthdraw, transfer money and pay bills. There is also a real bank teller counter; complete with pencils, erasers and stamps to fill up your cheque/cash deposit forms. Oh, and you get to stamp Approved or Rejected on them. Did I tell you that you can also make your own money? Literary. There is a station with about 8 stamps for you to print in order your own paper money of RM250-complete with the Agong's face on it! There's also the tracing station for you to trace coins with crayons [provided]. My son's favorite was the balls station. There are some conveniently placed holes on the walls that teaches you about saving & spending; and when a ball is put into the hole, you choose the best pipes to funnel it downwards into a bin. When you pass a certain pipes, an image on the wall lights up indicating which 'save' 'spend' or 'splurge' you chose. My son kept himself busy making lines of these balls and refused to let them dribble into the bin. He liked the idea of them stuck in the pipes.

The have no security guards in the museum, rather gun wielding policemen guards and patrols the building. You go thru a security check when you enter the museum and again when you exit. It is good to carry a few old fifty cents coin; in order to put your bags in the locker as you are not allowed to bring your bags in the museum. Otherwise, head to the reception counter to change RM5 with a 50 cent, and when you return the coin, you will get your money back. I didn't have a change for RM 100, so they held that in return for a 50 cent locker. Most expensive locker rental ever! But I got my money back when I emptied my locker and refunded my coin. The toilets are very clean, and in addition to feeding room, there is even a VIP toilet for our corrupt visiting politicians!

The whole place is so Instagram worthy, I don't even know from where to begin! The spiral staircase, the airy Art Gallery, the design of the building, the stone fountain at the entrance, or the grates on the floors that emits gushes of air [imagine the Marilyn Monroe's billowing white dress pose at Paris]

Oh did I also mention, that the entrance to the museum is free of charge? And that everything at the souvenir shop is ridiculously priced so cheap! I bought a few books, a tee for my son, some postcards (25 cents each) 2 cards (75 cents each)  a few stack of envelopes (10 pieces for RM 4.90-5.10), a planner for my husband, and the bill came to less than RM 70.

The cafe is also affordably priced. But the thing is, you got to order & pay first at the receptionist and then get a seat. Cheapest honey latte in the whole of KL. The cakes are expensive [same price as Secret Recipe cakes] I bought a waffle, 2 vegetable panini sandwiches [not in menu, but you can request for it], 1 honey latte, 2 mango lassi [was actually mango juice, not mango lassi] a slice of cake and everything came under RM 35.

On a scale of 10, I would give it a full 10. Really, this places takes the icing. It is only 7 years old but the place doesn't look aged. It is so well maintained and managed! And on a Saturday, the crowd was only about 50 at a time. Of course at around 3pm, three busloads of Penang tourists poured in and that created a bit of a noise in an other wards a quiet, serene place to enjoy your weekends.

There are plenty of benches and chairs for you to park your tired ass, from all the walking. Oh and before I end this, you can also hear the recorded budget speech by all our great Prime Ministers from Hussein Onn to Badawi. Although the audio quality is not that great; the effort was good.

In case you have reached this bottom, and you're wondering if there is a catch to all this. Well, I did ask.

Is there some kind of subsidy for the museum, because there is no entrance fee, the souveniers are cheap and the cafe is affordable too. No, the lady behind the gift counter said.

No flash photography is allowed, but camera and mobile phones are allowed inside the museum.

The art gallery is open, and some adult [I had tell off my son] kept touching it despite the no touching signs placed right in front of them.

Butterfly Park

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 0 Comments
One of the few hidden delights in KL. Plenty of lush greenery, cooling, calming and most importantly away from the city noise and pollution.

Entrance was RM 7 for Malaysian; cash only, souvenirs were overly priced. We bought cup ice creams.

The toilets have no tissue papers, you need to collect them from the ticketing counter.