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“One of the best in Singapore” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Asian Civilisations Museum

Asian Civilisations Museum
Book In Advance
US$467.18*
and up
Half-Day Private Group Singapore River Cruise
Ranked #31 of 778 things to do in Singapore
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Asian Civilisations Museum is devoted to exploring the rich artistic heritage of Asia, especially the ancestral cultures of Singaporeans. Founded in 1993 and in its present building by the Singapore River since 2003, the museum traces its roots to the Raffles Museum, founded in the middle of the 19th century. ACM focuses on the many historical connections between the cultures of Asia, and between Asia and the world. Singapore’s history as a port city that brought people together from all over the world is used as a means of examining the history of Asia. Special exhibitions bring magnificent objects from around the world to our Singapore audience. Programmes like the annual River Nights encourage visitors to connect more closely with culture and the arts.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Stairs / lift, Activities for older children, Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
235 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“One of the best in Singapore”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2012

Top class museum with fascinating artefacts. Would visit again as one visit is really not enough to appreciate everything.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank KR_EDINBURGH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,578 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Sydney
Level Contributor
120 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Excellent museum”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2012

If you are a fan of museums and history, definitely visit the Asian Civilisations Museum. Even if you aren't, this is a worthwhile excursion for a rainy day. Located at Empress Place, it is very close to Fullerton hotel.

The exhibitions are very well set out canvassing each of the main South East Asian cultures that have influenced what Singapore is today. I spent a very worthwhile couple of hours here.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank budge185
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
366 reviews
158 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 292 helpful votes
“Good, although could do with better signage”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2012

This museum is housed in a lovely building, although there's not much natural light, so a lot of the rooms are a little gloomy; compared, say, with the airiness of the V&A in London, it comes up a little short.

There's a lot of stuff here: sometimes I felt that there could be more detail to give context on the contents of the cabinets. For example, the various swords and krises all look very nice, but were they ceremonial, or actually used for combat? Likewise the jewellery is all very beautiful, but I was left unclear on who would get to wear it and who wouldn't.

Interestingly, probably the best part of the museum for delineating differing opinions of history is the modern Singaporean portion, which points out that although some Singaporeans were very pleased with the project to clean the river, those whose livelihoods depended directly on it had some complaints to make.

Particularly worthwhile are the different Buddhas and the textile exhibits. The recovered Chinese pottery from the Belitung shipwreck is also very good.

Helpful?
Thank MrCushtie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
183 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 280 helpful votes
“Not Really a Museum but a Propaganda Kiosk”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2012

This facility is housed in a beautiful 19th century structure, a former Government House. It curiously matches a similarly historic Fullerton Hotel, a former post office just across the river. While some of its galleries were interesting, e.g. Indian textiles and Islamic calligraphy, I had two major beefs. First, its presentation of Asian history is totally glossy and sanitized. No blood, no war, no pain, no conflict – just nice, nice, nice, across the board. I can well see how this slant serves the needs of a powerful government in a multi-ethnic country, but the feeling of unreality pervades. Second, there is no clear attribution which objects on display are real and which are replicas. I pressed our guide who admitted that some were replicas but she was not sure which were and which weren’t. I went to the museum to see history and reality, but instead got a carefully crafted historic Disneyland.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank Alex_Tallinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“History in Your Hands”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2012

The thing I love about museums in Singapore is how they provide knowledge for the visitors and how interactive the information to be given. Here in Asian Civilizations Museum, they take you back through times throughout Asia; Middle East, India, Indo-China, China, Japan, Korea, Malay, etc. Cultural impacts made by the beliefs, religions, and the people are shown here through the art, rituals, utensils, food, architecture, fashion, etc. I love how this museum elaborates the diversities of Asia into a great interesting attraction.

Photography is allowed, but flash usage is prohibited.

If you bring your little kids/nephews/nieces along, no worries! They do have kid's trails in each part that let your young ones interact, learn, observe, and have fun all the way! *But, yes, please, guide them; tell them not to touch any of the display--unless it is interactive*

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank vaitnicnent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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