(Penang, Federal Territory, Malaysia)
With a remarkably diverse history and a wealth of cultural influences, Penang's arts and culture scene is certainly worth exploring. The island's museums run the gamut in terms of offerings, but all are of a high standard. Many highlight Penang's colonial history in addition to the island's Chinese, Indian and Malay ancestry.
One of Malaysia's most-visited cultural attractions is the Penang Museum and Art Gallery, which features a collection of historical artefacts and photographs. Providing insight into the island's Muslim history, the Islamic Museum takes visitors through the history of Islam on this island and other prominent regions of Malaysia.
Penang Museum and Art Gallery
Address: Lebuh Farquhar, Penang, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 4261 3144
With an extensive collation of old maps, charts, historical artefacts and photographs, this museum and gallery is one of Malaysia's most-visited cultural attractions. Originally constructed to be the Penang Free School in 1821, it even features items and articles offering insight into the nine days of rioting between Chinese secret societies that took place in 1867.
Open hours: Saturday to Thursday - 09:00 to 17:00
P. Ramlee's Birthplace and Gallery
Address: Jalan P. Ramlee, Penang, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 4281 7484
The birthplace and former home of famed Malaysian singer / actor P. Ramlee, this gallery today highlights various aspects of his remarkable life. Malaysia's National Archives office acquired the house in 1991 and carried out restoration work. However, the house's original form is still intact and features a small gallery displaying various memorabilia next to Ramlee's birthplace.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00
Address: No 128, Lebuh Armenian, Penang, Malaysia, MY
Tel +60 4262 0172
Housed in a 19th century Muslim residence - the Syed Alatas Mansion on Lebuh Armenian - the Penang Islamic Museum highlights the history of Islam on Penang and other Malaysian regions, from its beginnings until today. The exhibits are organised by theme in different galleries. The mansion's architecture is incredibly eye-pleasing, incorporating a mixture of Indian, European and Malay influences.
Open hours: Wednesday to Monday - 09:30 to 18:00
Address: Jalan Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Bungah, Penang, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 2460 2096
Originally housed in Subang Java, Selangor, the Toy Museum is Malaysia's very first and can now be found on Penang. The facility covers a 650 square metre / 7,000 square foot area and features over 100,000 items, including toys, models, collectibles, and intricately detailed doll houses furnished with everything from wardrobes and accessories to make-up parlours. The Toy Museum is a must-see for the young at heart or families with young kids.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 21:00
Address: Merah Barat Daya, Batu Maung, Penang, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 6421 3606
The Penang War Museum offers visitors a bit of insight into what life was like on the island during war time. This particular attraction, an interesting site for war buffs and those interested in the island's history, is housed within a former British fort built during WWII, and is the only one of its kind in Malaysia
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 19:00