Penang State Museum


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What we say: 4 stars

This quiet museum is housed in a white building opposite another set of white buildings belonging to the Penang Magistrate's Court. It's a great escape from the heat and hustle and bustle of Penang and will give you an excellent overview of the sights, culture and rich history of the island.

Set over two floors are displays of traditional Chinese furniture alongside opium pipes and beds ornately inlaid with mother of pearl. Downstairs, the history of Chinese immigrants is charted, with an explanation of the role of the traditional clan house. Nonya culture is covered, with displays of wedding clothing and an explanation of their wedding tradition. A wedding bedroom has been created too including a traditional red lacquered bed elaborately decorated with gold leaf. A street scene has been recreated too showing life as it would have been, complete with life-size models of hawkers and trishaws.

Upstairs deals with Penang's historical development, giving a blow by blow account of each milestone. Displays are made up of large photos of how places looked and lots of information about everything from Francis Light to the ferry to the mainland. There's even an interesting section of old postcards and models wearing what the ladies of the day would've worn while promenading.

More details
Lebuh Faruquar, Georgetown
Opening Hours: Sat-Thu, 09:00-17:00.
Last updated: 29th August, 2014

About the author:
Stuart McDonald co-founded with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
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Penang State Museum
Lebuh Faruquar, Georgetown
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