Kuala Lumpur’s Islamic Arts Museum and Pinang Peranakan Mansion in George Town, Penang, have recently been named amongst Trip Advisor’s 2016 Travellers’ Choice Awards Top 10 museums of Asia, and its not hard to see why.
Islamic Arts Museum, Kuala Lumpur
Taking out eight spot on the list, Kuala Lumpur’s Islamic Arts Museum is home to South East Asia’s largest collection of Islamic art, housing more than ten thousand artifacts, alongside an exceptional library of Islamic art books. Artefacts on display range from minute and intricate pieces of jewellery to one of the world’s largest scale models of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. And if you are planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur anytime soon, check out popular exhibition, Dala’il al-Khayrat: Prayer Manuscripts from the 16th to 19th Centuries, which is running until the end of December. This astonishing collection features some of the most important and treasured manuscripts in the Islamic World, inlcuding texts from Morocco and the Middle East, and as far afield as East Turkistan and China.
Pinang Peranakan Mansion, George Town
In tenth spot, the fabulous Pinang Peranakan Mansion is a house quite literally untouched by the modern day. Well over a century old, this ostentatious, mint green structure is one of the most stunning restored residences in George Town, offerins an intriguing glimpse into opulent bygone lifestyle of wealthy Malaysia’s Peranakan Babas and their customs and traditions.
A self-guided tour reveals that every door, wall and archway of the Mansion is carved and often painted in gold leaf; the grand rooms are furnished with majestic wood furniture with intricate mother-of-pearl inlay; there are displays of charming antiques; and bright-coloured paintings and fascinating black and white photos of the family in regal Chinese dress grace the walls.
The house originally belonged to Chung Keng Quee, a 19th-century merchant, secret society leader and pillar of the community, who was also one of the wealthiest Baba-Nonyas of the time. After visiting the Mansion, be sure to also check out Chung Keng Kwi Temple, the adjacent ancestral hall.
Winners of Trip Advisor’s Traveller Choice Awards are selected based on the quality and quantity of reviews and ratings for museums worldwide over a twelve-month period.