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Penang State Museum and Art Gallery
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Private Georgetown Sightseeing Tour
Ranked #38 of 207 things to do in Penang Island
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Owner description: Penang State Museum and Art Gallery Officially open in 1962, the Museum houses a fine collection of old photographs, maps, charts and other historical relics. There are also Malay daggers (keris), Chinese furniture, embroidery and paintings of old Penang. At the Penang State Museum there are also interesting sections which recounts the bloody nine days of rioting between Chinese secret societies in 1867, attributed by bewildered British authorities to a rambutan-throwing incident. Georgetown suffered a near civil war before the administrators took a firm hand. The societies were heavily fined and the proceeds used to build police stations which subsequently kept the peace. The Penang State Art Gallery on the other hand is situated at a different premise which is at Dewan Sri Pinang, Light Street, a stone thrown away from the Museum premise . There are two Art Galleries which is situated in Dewan Sri Pinang. The Art Gallery on the Ground floor displays the works of local artists and is the venue for special exhibitions meanwhile the exhibition hall at the 3rd Floor housed the Permanent Collection which comprises of paintings donated or bought from the artists.
Hougang New Town, null, Singapore
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

A maintained museum which we can everything about the past of this island. When founded by a trader Francis Leight, the organization of British, Indian East Company. From where the citizens came and their races. A history of tradition among them, also about Japan occupation in 1941

Visited April 2013
2 Thank Hendraoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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235 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
56 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Small but informative ...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2013

The Penang State Museum is a 2-storey building housing most artifacts from the from the era of the Sultanate to World War II where Penang was overan by the Japanese. This fully air-conditioned place has a few rooms dedicated to the nyonya-baba (straits born) culture - particularly the intricate embroideries of their clothes and slippers.

There are also war memorials such as a underwater "mine" and small bombs.

On the outside, there is a old carriage from the Penang Hill railway which was used from the 1960s to the early 1970s before they switched to a newer train. Now they have an even newer train which goes directly up to the peak of Penang Hill.

This museum is a great place to understand the history of Penang.

Visited March 2013
2 Thank bruceli_88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
83 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
“One of the best museums ever - an absolute "Must-See".”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2013

I have probably visited hundreds of museums over many years of travelling and I would rate this museum as one of the best. Quite apart from the fact that is was RM1 (about 25c) to enter it was a welcome escape from the fierce heat and humidity of Penang.

In truth, my expectations were not very high when I went in but after a few minutes I was blown away by the quality of the exhibits, the layout and the exemplary descriptions provided. We wandered from room to room marvelling at the thought and effort that had been put into each and every item on display.

The museum covered the evolution and development of Georgetown and Penang and the social, ethnic, political and military history of this fascination island. You could easily spend an entire day here and still not see everything.

Very highly recommended - and you only a stone's throw away from the Eastern & Oriental Hotel for tea afterwards if you get your timings right.

If you have any interest in history, do go - really, really worth it.

Visited April 2013
2 Thank DublinEyeforDetail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“a museum worth your visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2013

We entered this museum because it had air-conditioned.....yes, it was high noon and outside on the streets the heat was like a preview to Hell.

We were glad we made that decision. The National Museum in Kuala lumpur during my last visit years ago was an experience worth forgetting.

It was more like a school exhibition. Maybe because after the retirement of the museum's illustrious and eccentric Director General, the management there after had no clue what a museum should be.

But this Penang Museum somewhat restored my faith. Not only the museum was informative, it was also well laid out with very helpful staff. With a bit more budget, we can imagine that the museum can be a world class attraction.

Check out the web site..it's not like your ordinary government-type website.

For those interested in the history of Penang, this attraction is worth the visit.

And it's air-conditioned.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Mauritiusman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Very Informative and Well Laid Out Museum”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2013

This is an excellent museum, well thought out and presented. It gives the visitor a really good introduction, through its exhibits and informative panels, to the history of Penang and its many different types of people. The guides are also very good. Very helpful and very interesting. Well worth a visit for anyone wanting to know more about Penang.

Visited March 2013
2 Thank Zelemenos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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