Kota Ngah Ibrahim (Matang Museum) In Taiping - travelswithsun

Kota Ngah Ibrahim or Ngah Ibrahim’s Fort can be found just outside Taiping. The building and the grounds have immense historical significance.

Visitors can enter the building for free to learn more about its past from the exhibits that cover the grounds, as well as lower and upper floors.

Do we think it’s worth a visit though? Find out in this post!

Where Is Kota Ngah Ibrahim?

It takes about 40 minutes to drive to the fort from Taiping and you will pass a rubber glove and plastic factory on the way here.

Main Building Of Kota Ngah Ibrahim
Main Building Of Kota Ngah Ibrahim

The museum is open daily from 9am to 5pm although there is a prayer break for the staff between 12:45pm to 2:45pm on Fridays.

If you are visiting the Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve Eco Park or the famous Kuala Sepetang Charcoal Factory, it is convenient to stop at this museum on the same day since these attractions are close to each other.

Entrance Fees For Kota Ngah Ibrahim

Like we said before, it is completely free to visit this museum. Even for foreigners. There are no parking fees imposed either.

Note: There is still security present at the site.

Ground Floor Exhibits At Kota Ngah Ibrahim

The central exhibit (and largest one) on the ground floor of the building is of a life-size model of an elephant with humans by its side.

Central Exhibit At Kota Ngah Ibrahim
Central Exhibit

It might seem like an odd thing to place right in front of the entrance of the museum as you walk in, but you’ll get its relevancy after reading the information plaque to the side of the exhibit.

Traditional Coffee Stall Set Up At Kota Ngah Ibrahim
Traditional Coffee Stall Set Up
Real Armor Displayed At Kota Ngah Ibrahim
Real Armor Displayed

Other exhibits on this same floor give you an overview of the different groups who once occupied the building.

Traditional Agricultural Equipment And Tools Displayed At Kota Ngah Ibrahim
Traditional Agricultural Equipment And Tools Displayed At Kota Ngah Ibrahim

Artifacts that were found on the grounds of the museum are neatly arranged according to their respective categories and period.

Note: There are two wells that were discovered during the renovation of the building and these can be seen on the grounds of the museum.

As you explore the exhibits, you’ll realize that the building has served numerous functions under varied circumstances. Because of its strategic position, it was once occupied by Japanese militia too.

Antiques From The Japanese Occupation Of Kota Ngah Ibrahim
Antiques From The Japanese Occupation

Not all the exhibits are presented in English and that bothered us a bit, but the key exhibits do have both English and Malay translation.

Upper Floor Exhibits At Kota Ngah Ibrahim

Our heads were already full of information by the time we went upstairs. There is another big hall upstairs but right outside it is a set-up of what the office of Ngah Ibrahim looked like.

Gallery Upstairs In Kota Ngah Ibrahim
Gallery Upstairs
Set Up Of Ngah Ibrahim's Office At Kota Ngah Ibrahim
Set Up Of Ngah Ibrahim’s Office

And informative posters and portraits of those who were involved in the brutal murder of the first Resident of Perak, J.W.W. Birch. And yes, Ngah Ibrahim was also one of them apparently. This eventually led to his exile to the Seychelles.

Old Courthouse Set Up At Kota Ngah Ibrahim
Old Courthouse Set Up At Kota Ngah Ibrahim

Interesting, we learnt that Ngah Ibrahim died in Singapore, and eventually in 2006, his body was returned to Perak. Today, visitors can visit his tomb on the grounds of the museum.

Antique Bedroom Set Up At Kota Ngah Ibrahim
Antique Bedroom Set Up

The other exhibits inside the upper floor hall are less depressing. These feature an elegant traditional bedroom with many antiques, different traditional weapons, and a set up of a court room.

This building once housed a school too, so there is also a set up of a classroom and a British-style administrative office.

School Set Up At Kota Ngah Ibrahim
School Set Up At Kota Ngah Ibrahim
Set Up Of A British Style Office At Kota Ngah Ibrahim
Set Up Of A British Style Office

PS: Take off your shoes before you go upstairs.

Facilities At Kota Ngah Ibrahim

Before you enter the grounds of the museum, there is a large open air space reserved for visitor parking. A bus could easily stop here too.

There are visitor toilets on the ground floor of the building. Two of the old wooden staircases flank the left and right of the building. These are the only visitor access to the upper floor.

The museum is not wheelchair friendly – we didn’t see any ramps or lifts during our visit.

Prayer rooms are available at the back of the main building. None of the buildings are air conditioned but it does not feel stuffy inside (even in the middle of the afternoon), since there is good airflow.

And in case you’re feeling hungry, you might want to eat elsewhere first because there is no on-site gift shop or café here.

Front Of Kota Ngah Ibrahim
Front Of Kota Ngah Ibrahim

Conclusion

Considering that you don’t have to pay any fees to visit this place, and that the exhibits are mostly in good order, we do highly recommend a visit here if you’re already in Taiping.

We think it’s one of the top things to do in Taiping, especially if you are looking for an indoor activity.

And like the Perak Museum (which does have entry fees), you can learn a lot about the local history and culture. Expect to spend under an hour here. Another museum that we highly recommend a visit to is the Telegraph Museum.

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