Crazy, whacky, interactive, fun!!!
Penang has some really funky, cute and unique museums that break the notion of ‘boring’ attached to museums. While some boast of specialized collections, others are merely meant for clicking crazy pictures. I have visited 6 of them so far – here are my First 3!!!
1. PG Gold Museum:
This rather new museum is in a heritage building at Lebuh Bishop. Set up by Public Gold in May 2015, it is the first one in the country that talks of gold with exhibits from all over the world. It offers guided and group tours with interactive sessions.
What’s in it:
- Gold and silver collections
- Gold history of Malaysia along walls
- Two storeys of ‘gold’en experiences
- Amazing theme like a gold mine, with wet-flooring effect
- 3D murals of mining and gold miner’s hats for clicking 3D photos
- Display of gold-bar shaped paper weights, key chains and other souvenirs for sale
(a) Make a wish: On the way up, you will find 2 huge treasure boxes for making a wish and tossing coins into a pot placed in one of the boxes. They say if your coin falls into the pot, your wish comes true. Trust me, that’s rather difficult to aim!
(b) Panning gold: Try your hands at panning gold from the sandy pool of water. Pick the vessel, stir and shake it, remove the stones and search for gold!!!! If you find a piece, it’s yours. 1 piece = 9 carats approx (you weren’t expecting more, were you?). The experience is thrilling!
(c) Live pouring demonstration: Let’s make gold! A live demo of how silver and gold is made, is given at the end of the tour. This is by far the best and most engaging feature as they actually run through the entire process using molten silver in graphite and ceramic cups.
Address: 95, Lebuh Bishop, 10200 Penang, Malaysia
Timings: 09:00 – 18:00 daily
Look for: Special offers and promotions, group tours
Adults – RM 50
Children (7-12 years), senior citizens – RM 25
Children below 7 years – free
2. Chocolate and Coffee Museum:
The Chocolate and Coffee Museum, earlier known as the Chocolate Boutique is meant for all chocolate lovers! Taste all the chocolate you want: white, dark, milk or chilli chocolate or those with dried fruits, nuts, sesame, tiramisu. The moment you step into the premises, you’ll be greeted with a sticker stamped right on your shirt, with you being directed inside the museum before you even know it 😉
What’s in it:
- Rooms with chocolate
- History of coffee making
- History of chocolate making
- No guided tour – just drool!
- Benefits of chocolate revealed!
- Facts and figures on cocoa production
- Chocolates of all sorts on display and sale
- Liquid chocolate roller mould/conching machine
- Coffee beans, sacks, creamer, powder and grinder on display
- A flat screen streaming the process of chocolate and coffee making
Address: 22 Leith Street, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Landmark: Near the Blue Mansion of Cheong Fatt Tze
Timings: 09:00 – 19:00 daily
3. Camera Museum:
First opened in 2013, this 2-storeyed museum is a store-house of cameras from different time periods. The collection has been curated by keen youngsters and camera enthusiasts and that’s what makes it so special.
- Photography posters
- Photo frames along walls
- Evolution of photography with time
- T-shirts and quirky souvenirs with camera prints and quotes
- Camera art incorporated in the wall leading to the first floor
- Cameras ranging from vintage and spy cameras to those used in World War II
Highlights: Camera obscura, dark room, pinhole room
Must try: The yummy, chunky layered cakes at their cafe (esp. their colourful Rainbow Cake)
Address: 49 Muntri Street, 10200, George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Ground floor (patisserie, souvenir shop, photo frames) – free
First floor – RM 20 (adults), RM 10 (senior citizens, children)
Favourite pics and picks:
- Camera Museum: Munching at the patisserie
- Chocolate Museum: Sampling chocolates at the boutique
- Gold Museum: Clicking and posing at the 3D murals
This blog post first appeared on Lyf&Spice.