Museums in Malaysia You Must Visit Soon
When you think of museums, you might normally think they’re nothing more than big, stuffy, boring exhibits of past civilisations and events in history that you had slept through during Sejarah class. That may not be too far from the truth for some museums, but others feature many interesting subjects like food and science. Here are several interesting museums in Malaysia that you should pay a visit to whenever you are able.
Petrosains, Kuala Lumpur
People usually think of museums as buildings filled with nothing but historical stuff accompanied by an atmosphere as dead as the featured historical figures. However, a museum of science and technology showcases not only history, but also the present as well as what could be! Located in Suria KLCC, Petrosains was established in 1999 and showcases many interactive exhibits. As its name implies, it is owned by a subsidiary of Petronas, the national oil and gas company, so there is a bit of a bias towards petrol-based sciences; but that’s where a lot of the fun is, as that includes a whole range of things from fossils to Formula One that will make the hearts of boys big and small race with excitement.
- Address: Level 4, Suria KLCC, PETRONAS Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088, Kuala Lumpur
- Opening hours: 9:30 AM–5:30 PM Tuesdays to Sundays (last admission 4 PM); closed Mondays
- Prices: RM9 for Malaysian senior citizens; RM18.50 for Malaysian adults; RM7.50 for Malaysian children (3–12 years); RM14 for non-Malaysian senior citizens; RM28 for non-Malaysian adults; RM16.50 for non-Malaysian children
- Contact: 03-2331 8181
Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum, Malacca
If you grew up during the 90’s, you may have memories of a TV series called Baba Nyonya. The TV series is named after the Baba-Nyonya ethnic group, also known as the Peranakans. The Peranakans are the descendants of the southern Chinese settlers in Malaya during the 15th through 17th century who intermarried with the local Malays, resulting in a new hybrid culture of clothing, food, and others. Bearing witness to this interesting history is the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum in Malacca. The museum is actually three terrace lots combined together, where four generations have lived in it before it was converted into a museum in 1985. The house is still maintained by the Peranakan family who owns it, but they no longer live there, preferring instead to preserve the place as a memory of Peranakan pride. They offer guided tours too, at an additional cost of RM4 per adult.
- Address: No. 48 & 50 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 75200, Malacca
- Opening hours: 10 AM—5 PM Mondays to Thursdays; 10 AM–6 PM Fridays to Sundays
- Prices: RM16 per adult; RM11 per children (5–12 years old)
- Contact: 06-282 1273
Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Penang
Malacca is not the only place in Malaysia that has Peranakan culture. Due to the geographical divide, there are not a few differences between Penang Peranakan and Malacca Peranakan culture. Penang Peranakans speak mainly the Hokkien dialect with some Malay loanwords, while Malacca Peranakans speak Baba Malay, which is related to the Malay language with some influences from the Hokkien dialect. Besides that, Penang Peranakan also has some Thai influences too due to their proximity to the Siamese kingdom. Thus, the Pinang Peranakan Mansion in Penang is also worth a visit as well.
- Address: 29, Church Street, 10200 Penang
- Opening hours: 9:30 AM—5 PM Mondays to Sundays
- Prices: RM20 per adult; free for children (below 6 years old)
- Contact: 04-264 2929
Wonderfood Museum, Penang
Penang has another interesting museum as well, called the Wonderfood Museum. Wonderfood Museum is one of the more unique museums in Malaysia that introduces visitors to the rich culture of Penang food via supersized displays handcrafted by Sean Lao, the museum’s owner, using Japanese food replication techniques. The museum is split into three sections: Info Zone, Wow Zone, and Education Zone. The Info Zone features a showcase of over 100 types of food, including street food and traditional fare such as cendol and asam laksa, in glass displays. They also have dioramas featuring the mealtimes of everyday life, from breakfast to lunch to dinner. The Wow Zone is where the magic happens, as visitors get to pose with giant replicas of famous foods like satay and nasi lemak. This is the one place where it’s totally fine to play with your food, so it’s no wonder it is such a big hit with tourists and locals alike. Over at the Education Zone, visitors can learn about the environmental impact of certain dining choices, e.g., the effects of the consumption of shark fin soup on the shark population. If you enjoy edutainment where you have fun and learn something at the same time, Wonderfood Museum is not to be missed.
- Address: 49, Lebuh Pantai Georgetown 10300 Penang
- Opening hours: 9 AM–6 PM daily
- Prices: RM15 for Malaysian adults (MyKad required); RM10 for Malaysian children; RM25 for non-Malaysian adults; RM15 for non-Malaysian children
- Contact: 04-251 9095
Paddy Museum, Kedah
Speaking of food, we now turn to one of the most important staples of the Malaysian diet: rice. We’ve featured the Paddy Museum, a.k.a. Muzium Padi, in our article on Kedah. Not only is the design of the building unique in that it is built to look like bushels of harvested rice stalks, they also feature several huge murals painted by 60 North Korean artists which took six months to complete, including one panoramic mural that is 8 metres high and 103 metres around.
- Address: Lot 798 Jalan Gunung Keriang, Mukim Gunung Keriang 06570 Alor Setar, Kedah
- Opening hours: 9 AM–5 PM (closed from 12:30 PM–2:30 PM on Fridays)
- Prices: RM3 for adults; RM1 for children; RM2 camera charge
- Contact: 04-735 1315
These are some of the most interesting museums in Malaysia that provide some interesting insights into Malaysian culture and technology. Which is your favourite Malaysian museum? Are there any other museums in Malaysia that you think should be featured? Let us know in the comments section down below!
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