3D Wonders Museum

3D Wonders Museum of Sabah

Being the first Upside Down House in South-East Asia, Rumah Terbalik added another fun house just next to it. In a nutshell, 3D Wonders Museum is a 4,000 sq. feet gallery that displays 28 painting mostly about Sabah. Visitors can “interact” with the objects in the drawing, as if they become part of the painting (or illusion).

long queue to 3D Wonders Museum
After seeing so many amusing photos of 3D Wonders Museum on social media, I decided to visit this most talked about site in Tamparuli district. This museum can only fit 25 people at a time, so it was a long queue during weekend. Luckily the wait took less than 10 minutes. There is no time limit and you are very encouraged to take photos in the museum (photo taking is free).

3D Painting

Upon entry, we started playing with something small and simple as a “warm-up”. Just position your hands on the right spot of the painting and you are ready for a funny shot.

3D painting of Likas City Mosque
Pic: 3D painting of floating City Mosque, the most beautiful mosque of Sabah.

3D painting of big fish
Pic: big fish by Sea Bajau fisherman from Semporna

3D drawing of sinking ship
Though there are many attractions in Sabah, 3D Wonders Museum is one of the few family-oriented destinations that excites both adults and children.

Tour package to Semporna

information sign for 3D painting
Pic: majority of the 3D art collection here are inspired by various unique culture, nature and destinations of Sabah. You can read the signage to learn more about the subject of each painting. The photos of signage also shows you some good ideas on how to pose with the painting for the most entertaining effect. Of course, you can try other creative poses.

best photography spot for 3D painting and murals
Pic: Photography pointer that tells you where is the best spot and angle to shoot the picture.

Don’t worry if you travel alone. The friendly staffs are always around to guide you and to help you to take picture of you in action, so you may leave your selfie stick at home.

3D painting of fireman hose

3D painting of rubbish in water village
I chit chat with some of the tourists and find that many of them are friends and family from Brunei, Peninsular Malaysia, etc.

Flora & Fauna and Conservation

Then I moved on to the nature theme that have big painting features the eco-treasures of Sabah. The way they present the theme is probably more exciting than the real things. For example, there has been a myth that our giant pitcher plant and rafflesia flower of Borneo are man-eaters, so the museum turns that fantasy into something touchable.

children in 3D floor painting of Nepenthes Rajah pitcher plant
Pic: children being eaten by sitting on Nepenthes Rajah, the largest pitcher plant in the world.

3D wall and floor painting of man-eating rafflesia flower
Pic: Most murals span across wall and floor to give them more depth and realistic look, like the rafflesia flower painting above.

orangutan in jail at 3D Wonders Museum

hanging out with orangutan apes in 3D Wonders Museum
Pic: hanging out with Orangutan, the wild man of Borneo rainforest.

releasing baby turtles in 3D Wonders Museum
Pic: this is how baby turtles feel when they are released.

photo with 3D painting of polar bears
Pic: Polar bears on melting ice cap, a warning for global warming.

Sabah Ethnic Theme

Sabah is famous for its vibrant and colorful culture. You can pretend you are in a cultural journey. Don’t be squeamish while taking photos. Be playful and imaginative, the more you interact with the painting and blend into scene, the better the photos. Your photo would look pretty lame if you just stand straight and act normally.

magunatip bamboo dance in 3D painting
Pic: Magunatip bamboo dance, great pose and expression bro!

Bajau horsemen painting in 3D Wonders Museum
Pic: horse riding with Bajau, the Cowboys of the East.

Murut headhunter photo booth in 3D Wonders Museum
Pic: photo booth of Murut headhunter. I meant to be funny but it looked so real that it was a bit creepy instead.

lansaran of 3D Wonders Museum
Pic: Wooden trampoline in traditional longhouse of Murut people

Travel Theme

Let the paintings take you to popular places in Kota Kinabalu, Kota Belud, Kiulu, Semporna, Kinabalu Park, Ranau and Sandakan. A photography tip for taking better 3D photo – reduce the power of camera flash, because the reflection and shadow cast by strong light would make the painting looks flat and fake. This can be difficult if you are not using good camera.

Mt. Kinabalu and broken bridge
Pic: This painting is the favorite of everyone because it looks “dangerous”.

summit of Mt. Kinabalu in 3D Wonders Museum
Pic: Due to earthquake, climbing to Mt. Kinabalu is halt until further notice, but you still can take a photo of the summit here.

mountain climbing
Pic: May be you should try harder for the challenge, mom.

Zip Borneo zipline
Pic: Zip Borneo, the longest flying fox zipline in Borneo.

3D Wonders Museum

mural of white water rafting in Kiulu
Pic: Canoeing in Kiulu River

caught by white-bellied sea eagle
Pic: “Aaaargh… tell mom I won’t be back for dinner!”


The illusion section gets the most laughters. It’s just awesome.

fighting Malay Silat
Pic: This silat fighting photo puzzled me the most. I was wondering why all my friends could do flying kick so easily.

prop for Silat fighting
…until I saw how it’s done lol. It’s like breaking the magician’s code. This can spoil the fun so I only reveal one secret here.

Shrinking Room (or Ames Room)
Pic: The Shrinking Room (or Ames Room). Sometimes you just can’t trust your eyes.

head under food cover
Pic: Can you figure out? Aren’t you entertained?

UV light painting of KK City
Pic: Night view of Kota Kinabalu city. The UV lights will make your cloth glows in the dark.

Entrance Fee & Contact

You can save a few bucks if you visit both 3D Wonders Museum and Upside Down House (2-in-1 package).

Ticket Fee* Malaysian Adult Foreign Adult Child (4-12 years)**
3D Wonders Museum RM24.40 RM35 (≈USD$7) RM15.90 (≈USD$4.60)
Upside Down House
(Rumah Terbalik)
RM10.60 RM19.10 (≈USD$5.50) RM5.30 (≈USD$1.50)
2-in-1 Package
(Upside Down House + 3D Wonders)
RM31.80 RM47.70 (≈USD$14) RM19.10 (≈USD$5.50)

* Fee inclusive of 6% GST tax (price as of June 2015)
** Free entrance for infant 3 years and below

Upside down House (Rumah Terbalik)
Pic: 3D Wonders Museum is next to Upside Down House (Rumah Terbalik)

Shuttle Services

You can take their shuttle depart from shopping malls (see below) to this place for RM50 (≈US$12.50) per person. Please call +60 18-8614688 / +60 88-230534 in advance to book a seat (before 4:00pm).

From Center Point From Wisma Merdeka Return
8:30am 8:45am 11:30am
10:30am 10:45am 1:30pm
2:00pm 2:15pm 5:00pm
3:00pm 3:15pm 6:00pm

Address (see Location Map): Kampung Telibong, Batu 21, Jalan Telibong Tamparuli, 89208 Tuaran, Sabah, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 7am – 7pm daily
Phones: +60 88-260263, +60 19-8614688
Email: sales@trekkerslodge.com
Website: www.upsidedownhouse.com.my
Facebook: Rumah Terbalik – The Upside Down House in Borneo!

Photos taken in Tamparuli, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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