Just across the road from Penang’s high court building is the Penang museum. It’s based in a large old Victorian era building and houses a number of interesting artefacts from various points in the history of the city. Outside the museum is a replica of a funicular carriage from Penang Hill along with a replica platform. There are also two cars belonging to former British governor generals. These each have a pretty interesting story – with one being the car one of the last governor generals was assassinated in!
Once inside you have to pay 1rm to see all of the collections. The displays are set across several rooms on two floors. The downstairs floor focuses on the mixed cultural makeup of the city, with rooms dedicated to the Chinese, Indian, European and Malay influences on the city. Some of our favourite things to see were the ornate Chinese furnishings and the amazing Indian clothing. We also were quite squeamishly fascinated by the Chinese feet binding exhibit.
On the upper floor there is a gallery space displaying Malaysian artists work based on Penang and the surrounding region. In an adjoining room there are displays about the colonial era of the city. The artefacts in here are really interesting and tell a lot about the growth of the city. I found it personally quite enlightening to find out about the evolution of the coffee shops as well as how each area of the city developed its distinctive style.
Although not the largest of museums, the Penang city museum is well worth a look. For just 1 ringgit for a day ticket it’s a really good way to dick out of the heat for a little while and learn about the city!