The beach-bounded state of Penang, Malaysia is known for lots of things including its highly diverse population of “Penangites,” its street food, and an eclectic culture that is well represented by its farrago of museums. The Penang Forest Parks & Museum is a 7,500 sq. ft. hexagon-shaped building supported by the trunk of a Merawan tree. The Penang Hill Owl Museum houses 1,000 objects of owl bric-a-brac, the Camera Museum features a super-sized Rolfix, and there’s even a fancy boutique Museum Hotel with its own guests-only museum of antiques. But perhaps the most fun to be had is at Ben’s Vintage Toy Museum. Belonging to a private owner (“Ben”), the museum displays rare toy robots, dolls, trains, aircraft, guns, space toys, paddle cars and more, from the 1940s-1970s.
All of the museums including the Vintage Toy Museum are located in George Town, the capital of Penang. Named after Britain’s King George III, George Town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its unique architectural and cultural townscape, “without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.”