Experiences - Asia

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum – A Must Visit in Penang

One of the best ways to experience the Peranakan culture and lifestyle is by visiting the Baba Nyonya heritage museum in Penang.

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum

Image Courtesy: Kirk Siang used under the Creative Commons Licence

Baba Nyonya museum is a mansion that belonged to a Chinese immigrant Chung Keng Quee.  Chung Keng Quee was founder of modern Taiping. He was appointed by the British and is known as the inventor of mining of tin.

The heritage museum represents the Peranakan or Strait culture in its truest form. The museum which is also a mansion was built using ceramic floor tiles from England, iron cast work from Scotland and the wooden panels, doors and walls from China. It is a fine blend of the British, Chinese and Malay culture.

What to expect at the museum

You will be welcomed into the mansion by intricately carved wooden panels that are painted in gold.

The museum is divided into various wings where one gets to understand lifestyle of the Perankan culture. One of the chamber showcases the British style of dining table, another chamber exhibits the women’s chamber where they enjoyed games of card along with beetle leaves and so on.

Baba Nyongya dining table in Museum

Image Courtesy: epSos .de used under the Creative Commons Licence

The kitchen is one of the most important aspect of the museum.  The size of the kitchen and the number of utensils present the Peranakans love for lavish meals.

The large and elegant staircase that connect the floors exhibit the influence of the British and Scottish architecture during the colonial times.

Baba Nyongya courtyard - Heritage Museum

Image Courtesy: shankar s. used under the Creative Commons Licence

The upper floors were reserved for the family. One can see the livingroom, bedrooms and the special bridal room with the traditional Nyonya matrimony bed.

Traveller’s information 

The museum is on the Church Street, Penang.

The museum is open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm every day (no holidays).

Entry fee – RM20.00; for children below the age of 6 it is free of cost.

Photography and videography inside the museum is strictly prohibited. Prior permission (written) must be taken for the same.

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