Museum and Monosopiad Village

Kota Kinabalu Travel Blog

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Sago worms, Monsopiad Village.

Had a visitor last night, whom we have nicknamed Monsieur Rat!  We woke up to a major rustling and after Noel went to investigate, a rather large rat raced across the floor and out under our door (the gap is quite big).  When we mentioned it to the manager in the morning, she did not seem particularly surprised so we imagine this is not an uncommon problem here.  Her young son is also a bit of a pest - he decided that he should be using the computer while we were checking the email and after failing to push Melissa out of the way, stomped on her foot instead while chucking a tantrum.  His mother tried to make him apologise but the little monster was having none of it.  Combining this with the fact that the communal lounge was closed for renovations and the lodge is pretty expensive for what you get, we decided not to return after our trip to Sandakan, so cancelled our later 2-day booking and got a refund.

Monsopiad's skulls, Monsopiad Village.
  The manager did not seem particularly surprised, particularly after the incidents with her son and the rat!  It's unfortunate, because the lodge could be really good with a few small changes, but we do wonder if it will be around in 12 months time considering we found a much cheaper room close by with more facilities.  We'll do a review later on.

Melissa has decided to do a learn to dive course when we get back from Sandakan so we walked down to Sabah Divers to book in.  Wismah Borneo centre has most tour and dive operators within its corriders so lots of choice there, but Sabah Divers seemed the most organised and professional, as well as one of the cheapest.  After a short rest and some lucnh, our next guide picked us up for a visit to the Sabah Museum and the Monsopiad Village.  The Museum is fairly small, so our one hour visit turned out to be about right.  There is also a heritage village next door, but this is very similar to what we saw in Kuching so not really worth visiting.  The museum has 3 floors with some quite interesting exhibits about KK's history, and some ancient ceramic urns - in fact the ceramic section is one of the more interesting, although the local costume section is also good.  There's a huge whale skeleton in the foyer, and it's only new, having died after beaching itself in 2006, so there's a good booklet and video about how the skeleton ended up in the museum.

Next stop was the Monsopiad Cultural Village, on the site where the original Monsopiad - a warrior headhunter - lived about 300 years ago.  We were given a welcoming drink of rice wine and then a village guide, Norma, showed us various things such as a blowpipe demonstration, sago processing and so on.  Got another cultural show of dancing and blowpipes, and once again had to get up and make complete idiots of ourselves trying to do the dances - good fun though.  Then walked across the road to the House of Skulls where some of Monsopiad's trophy skulls are kept - they are over 300 years old and some even show damage to the skull from the battle in which they died.  The Last Keeper of the Skulls is elderly now and as his children are Christians, they have decided not to take on the role of Keeper so that will die out with the old man.  The skulls will remain in their current home, however, and people from the Cultural Village will look after them.  Not a bad place to visit, but it is quite a way out of town so if you go on your own, the taxi fare could be quite high.

Once we got back to town, we walked through the hawker market behind where we're staying - as it's Ramaddan at the moment, it was heaving with people getting their food to break the fast once the sun sets.  You could hardly walk for people, but the smells and sights were delicious!

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Sago worms, Monsopiad Village.
Sago worms, Monsopiad Village.
Monsopiads skulls, Monsopiad Vill…
Monsopiad's skulls, Monsopiad Vil…