Last weekend, this writer had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Illusions Kuala Lumpur. It is one of the 40 private museum chains operating all around the world. This quirky museum offers optical illusions, interactive exhibits and other mind-bending illusions. The exhibits in this illusion museum are based on art, science, psychology, mathematics, and physics that intrigue kids and adults alike. Let’s dive into this honest review to find out more about it!
Actually, the location is a bit hidden (not by illusions, of course) but no worries! As long as you read this paragraph, you will be able to find the Museum of Illusions Kuala Lumpur in no time! This museum is inside the ANSA Hotel Kuala Lumpur building, which is located right next to Lot 10 building within Bukit Bintang’s Golden Triangle. It is less than 5 mins walk from the Bukit Bintang MRT and Monorail stations. It is also reachable via the GOKL green, purple and blue lines.
One good thing about the Museum of Illusions Kuala Lumpur is that the opening hours are from 10am to 10pm daily, unlike many other museums in Malaysia.
Pro-tip: If you are driving, we suggest parking at Wisma Chuang. It is about 5 mins walk away from the museum, and they charge only an RM7 flat rate on weekends!
I went on a Saturday afternoon after lunch, and surprisingly it wasn't packed. I mean yes, there were many people, and most of them were 👨👩👧👦families with kids. However, we still managed to experience and enjoy each interactive display without queuing!
The museum is rather small. It has 2 floors, with the lower floor focusing more on interactive exhibits, while the upper floor is mostly optical illusions and selfie spots. I went with 2 friends and expected to be done in 1 hour, but we ended up spending 2 hours there, all thanks to the selfie spots upstairs (oops! kaki selfie detected ehehe).
There are 3 illusion rooms and numerous installations, images and interactive exhibits on the 1st floor. In fact, most of the interactive illusion experiences are on this floor.
The first one is a Head on a Platter Illusion. With the mirrors underneath and the correct camera angle, you can trick people into believing you’ve been beheaded and served on a white plate.
You can be big and small in the same room, and nope, you don’t have to eat any side of a mushroom for that! Known as The Ames Room, this optical illusion plays on a distorted space where objects (or people) appear bigger and smaller as they move from one end to the other end of the room. There is a small TV on top of the vantage point where you can see the illusion effect so that you can come out with the most creative poses.
Named after its creator, an American ophthalmologist named Adelbert Ames, Jr. The Ames Room is designed with a slanted floor and wall to tweak your perception of reality. The wallpaper in the room also plays a role. You’ll have to experience it to understand it!
This was a bit challenging for us to do because we didn’t want to lay on the floor (you get what I mean…). The Reversed Room is where you can experience the down as up and the up as down. We spent quite some time here squeezing creative ideas out of our brains and experimenting with poses that our millennials' muscles & joints can handle😖. Because we didn’t want to end up in the hospital with “attempting optical illusion” as the cause (cause that would be lame).
Unfortunately, the lighting here is a little bit dim. It would be nice if the museum could improve on the lighting.
The Beuchet Chair Illusion is another trick of perception that involves an oversized chair seat and four normal-sized chair legs. It plays with distance and space. This illusion was invented by French psychologist Jean Beuchet in 1963.
It will look as if you are sitting on a gigantic chair. While the person standing close to the front will also look like a giant.
If you have vertigo, entering the Tilted Room will double it. You’ll feel dizzy and struggle to balance yourself in the room. That is because not only is the floor tilted but the wallpaper is also designed to give your brain a good punch. When I was inside, I had difficulty 📸snapping a photo to show how tilted the room is, even though my body knew the room was tilted. I guess that’s the power of the conflicting visual and non-visual cues. Kids also enjoy running around in this room.
You can mix and match body parts with your friend via mirrors!
All the puzzles here are in the form of wooden blocks. There are 3D interlocking puzzles and 2D puzzles. Unfortunately, I have to say that they are rather boring because not only are they difficult to solve, but their design is also monotone.
However, no worries because the staff will come to help you solve them partially if you are facing a block with the blocks. Personally, I think it would be nice if a picture of the solved puzzle is provided so that we can know what we are trying to solve.
Kids will definitely enjoy this activity because not only it’s therapeutic, but it’s also educational and fun. Create a piece of illusion yourself and bring it back home!
Stick your head into a tunnel to create a personal kaleidoscope with your face!
Or you can get creative by putting your favourite object in it. Make sure to 📸snap a photo from the other end so that you can use it as wallpaper!
Honestly, this was a bit disappointing to us because…where are the 🃏Poker cards?! We saw previous visitors' photos and videos where they played poker cards with their clones in the mirrors but the cards weren't there when we visited.
Wow! This optical illusion absolutely 🤯blew my mind. Not forgetting to mention, it was a bit dangerous too because I almost knocked my nose flat on the installation.
If you enjoy abusing your eyes and brain, then this section is for you. You can spin and watch the black & white optical illusions as they make you 😵dizzy. This optical illusion installation is located towards the exit before the souvenir section, so we came here last.
It’s located right before the exit, so of course we came here last. But since we are covering the 1st floor, I might as well talk about it. If you enjoyed some of the puzzles you solved in the museum, you can purchase them to solve at home or as souvenirs!