Rumah Terbalik, Tamparuli & Miss Earth Sabah

23 June 2012

Part 2 of Tamparuli day trip. Part 1 HERE

Immediately after leaving Zip Borneo, it started to rain yet again. Luckily it waited til we got in the vans I guess.. ;p We headed on down to our next destination:
Unfortunately, it was still raining when we got there, so we didnt get the chance to take any photos with the upside down car in the garage, but I did find one on their official facebook page:
When they hosted the kids from Rumah Kanak-Kanak
What more Malaysian car to hang up, but the Perodua Kancil right? ;p

Now, being Miss Earth Sabah finalists, these beauties handled whatever Mother Earth threw at them, with a smile!
Traipsing up the walkway after hitting the gong 3 times - Sabahan style!
When you visit the house, there will be a guide who will explain the significance of certain things, and tell you about the environmental message the house wishes to convey - that if we dont do something to save our planet soon, our environment is gonna go upside down! Unfortunately, no cameras are allowed inside the house, but lucky you! I remembered some of the more unique stuff to tell you! Hahaha...

So this is what the actual house looks like:
Everything, and I mean everything, inside is upside down, which means the furniture is bolted to the ceiling, while the fans, lights, and even the lizards are on the floor. The only thing that is not upside down is a Chinese ornament which is used to bring luck. Obviously, if you hang that upside down, it will also bring the opposite - bad luck!

The house is built as a traditional Sabahan house, with the design more specifically coming from Kota Belud. with the living room, kitchen, and all the bedrooms decorated as such. Even the jamban a.k.a. toilet is the traditional squat toilet! There are slippers on the 'floor', and even playing cards and coins strewn around, again, on the 'floor'! A pet cat sits on the upside down sofa, and they even have a handwritten height chart written upside down on the wall!

The most difficult thing to hang upside down in the house was the sewing machine, which weighs, if I'm not mistaken, 35kg. Some visitors actually feel uncomfortable as they walk through the house, as it is not what we can psychologically accept. Motion sickness is accentuated with the house being slightly tilted downwards as you walk through, to prevent rainwater remaining stagnant on the 'roof'. It actually took longer to build this house as compared to normal houses too, as the workers could not be in the house for too long before needing to go outside! If you do feel slightly queasy though, dont worry. Just look out of the window for a couple of minutes and everything will be fine. =)

The owner, Mr Alexander Yee, was there to greet us, and he told us that the house is actually the first upside down house in South-east Asia! Whee..!! Yet another reason everyone should come and visit Sabah! =D We do have a variety huh? ;p After visiting the house, visitors can go to the souvenir shop, called the Tamu (which means 'market' in Malay) to get unique and environmentally friendly gifts.
Tell everyone you've been there, done that, got the t shirt.. ;p
Mr Yee talking with the girls, while Deidre and Olivia pose next to organic soaps! ;p
The Rumah Terbalik team also generously prepared a buffet lunch for us, and as we were crazily starving, there are no photos, cz I only remembered to take as the last spoonful was making its way down to my stomach.. MUAHAHA.. ;p

After lunch, it was time to make our way to our 3rd and final location for the day (during which journey I had a very nice nap in the van.. ;p), so we bid goodbye to the staff and poor Mr Yee had to stand between 6 beautiful ladies on each side for some group photos (now, dont be jealous boys).
With signboard and certificate of appreciation.
Again, the rain stopped while we were inside the house, and started up as we left the premises.. Hmm..
Next stop, Kampung Poturidong, Tamparuli!!



  1. Never heard of this place before. It serves no purpose but mainly for attracting visitors I guess.

    So if you go to the toilet, do you need to do your business upside down too? LOL.

    1. It opened late last year.. Yes, it's just something different to experience.. It's actually quite interesting when you walk through though, as you can actually feel your mind trying to accept what you're seeing, even if you know at the back of it it's just normal stuff bolted to the ceiling! Luckily for us though, they provide nice, clean toilets out in the garden - the right way up! ;p

  2. i didnt get to visit the rumah terbalik during my last visit to KK. but that time they are not open yet also. haha anyway did you tried tamparuli mee? =DD

    1. Then you should come back! Hahaha.. Yes I've tried Tamparuli mee before, but I dont have it often.. I prefer Tuaran mee though, although it's almost the same! ;p

  3. the place is getting famous but i haven't got the chance to pay a great ;)

    1. You should go! But I heard public hols n Sundays it gets busy, so if you're lucky enough to have the chance to visit on normal days...... ;p

  4. Thanks for the write up Calista. Drop by to say hi when free ya ;)

  5. The purpose for this well known Rumah Terbalik designed by Alexander Lee is not just only for show or proving the designer as a great designer or even attracting tourists.

    The main theme for the Rumah Terbalik is about Global Environment. How construction have been and modernization is destroying our green earth. The Rumah Terbalik is just only one of the upside down house structure. There are another 9 more in different nation that speaks out of the same cause.

    Its unique but with a hidden message inside it.

    I went to Sabah by looking into this website see what does the website have to offer me.

    They helped me a lot.