Singapore's first maritime museum, the Maritime Experiential Museum & Aquarium (MEMA) opened its doors at the Resorts World Sentosa on October 15, 2011. With its distinctive maritime theme environment and interactive exhibits designed to engage all your senses, the museum deviates from the traditional gallery setting and is the first and only museum to showcase Southeast Asia’s maritime trade history. It is dedicated to the exploration of the Maritime Silk Routes in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, with a particular interest in the greatest ports and different maritime routes that were introduced from the 9th century to the 19th century. The Maritime Silk Routes created almost 300 years ago, were important trade routes used by merchants and traders from Ancient China, Ancient India, Ancient Tibet, the Persian Empire and Mediterranean countries to seek out overseas markets, transport goods, and establish foreign trade relations with one another.
More than 400 rare objects are featured at the museum, including the Jewel of Muscat (a life-sized reproduction of a 9th century Arab dhow that was a gift from Oman to Singapore), and some of the 60,000 treasures recovered from the Belitung Shipwreck dating back to 830 AD. One can also come up close with Admiral Zheng He's massive treasure ship ('Bao Chuan'), and learn about the epic voyages he took from China to the ‘Western Ocean’ as the greatest explorer in Chinese history. Check out the ports of call, the exotic bazaars (Souks) and cultural emporium which Admiral Zheng He and other Asian explorers explored along the Maritime Silk Routes.
If you're feeling adventurous, head on to experience the wraths of the sea for yourself on an interactive seafaring voyage via the world's first multi-sensory 360-degree Typhoon Theatre. 'Board' a 9th-Century Arabia-bound Chinese junk from the Straits of Malacca, discover precious artifacts along your journey, and literally cringe in your seats as the ship encounters a perilous storm. Feel the ship pitching and rolling against howling winds, splashing waves and flashing lightning and experience the feeling of being shipwrecked, as the ship descends into a blanket of water until you encounter marine life and cling hopelessly to the remains of the ship.
Kids can also learn about the history of the silk routes in a truly innovative way with the interactive exhibits found at the museum such as the musical ensemble that features instruments found at various ports of call (sitar from India, santur from Iran, and bongo drums from Kenya). Try playing mix and match with the instruments and come up with new tunes to share with your friends via electronic mail. For the artistic ones, you can also try your hand at creating virtual pottery on interactive touch screens.
Admission to the museum is also priced affordably so visit the Maritime Experiential Museum to delve into history in a refreshingly enriching environment now!
Admission Fees are separate for general admission and the Typhoon Theatre:
Adult – S$5 (General Admission) & S$6 (Typhoon Theatre)
Children (4-12 years old) – S$2 (General Admission) & S$4 (Typhoon Theatre)
Senior Citizen (65 years old and above) – S$3 (General Admission) & S$3 (Typhoon Theatre)
Maritime Experiential MuseumAddress: Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island
Operating Hours: Mondays to Thursdays: 10am - 7pm
Fridays - Sundays & Public Holidays: 10am - 9pm