Having visited the Pasar Burung and Pasar Bunga, and before turning in and calling it a day, we set out to take a look at the military Brawijaya Museum located on the famous Ijen Boulevard in Malang. This is one of the more popular and well-known museums in the city. Unfortunately, for me it was a typical Indonesian museum with a poor collection and lack of maintenance and management.
It was a short visit. It just wasn’t that interesting to us and the atmosphere inside was depressing and drab (for lack of a better word). The museum is dedicated to preserving and explaining aspects of the Indonesian military throughout the years. And this topic could’ve been made more entertaining and educational, but like so many museums, it felt as if random items have been thrown together without any context and narrative. I think the first step they could do to improve the place is provide signs with an Indonesian and English explanation, then re-decorate the place and create space. Don’t just throw stuff together and call it a day.
The Brawijaya Museum consists of two large rooms filled with military equipment and paintings and posters fostering nationalism. Gun nuts might enjoy the museum, as there are a lot of guns, shotguns, and cannons on display there. Again, there is no context, just a bunch of guns thrown together in cabinets. You’ll also find a lot of photo portraits of generals and officers, some clothing, posters, and more weaponry. The most interesting thing there for me were the old medical field packs from half a century ago, which occupied one quarter of a display case. Some of the old currency notes were cool too.
All in all, the Brawijaya Museum was a disappointment. It needs an extreme makeover and it is yet another museum lacking management and appeal. No wonder people who go here only seem to spend a few minutes there before leaving again. Admittedly, the entry fee is very modest and low, but still I would hesitate to recommend this place to anyone who isn’t a military fan. I’m sure there are more meaningful activities you can do in Malang besides going here.