Teddy bears as historical storytellers? It’s not a fairytale but the actual premise behind the Teddyville Museum in Penang.
The venue features Malaysia’s first and largest collection of teddy bears from various nations and eras. The collection dates back as early as the 1900s. The bears come in a variety of shapes and sizes – from miniatures to human-sized!
Located on the ground floor of the newly opened DoubleTree Resort by Hilton in Batu Ferringhi, the museum offers both kids and adults an immersive educational experience with a fun flair.
Why you should go
Don’t be fooled by the humble exterior. Teddyville Museum is bigger on the inside and well over 836 sq m. Walking into the venue will uncover various fun and colourful exhibition areas, filled to the brim with over 1,000 cute teddys.
Apart from telling the origin of the bear, the displays go to great lengths to showcase and celebrate the rich cultural history of Penang.
The early part of the exhibition shows when Sir Francis Light first set foot on the shores of the island. Of course, “Sir Francis Light” here is in the shape of an oh-so-adorable cream-coloured teddy.
Then there’s the impressive Mini Penang, where miniature bears are dressed and placed in small sets to represent the many attractions in Penang.
The painstaking detail in the Mini Penang exhibit – from quirky costumes worn by participants of the Penang Bridge International Marathon to intricate designs of heritage structures – are commendable and certainly worth the price of admission.
What to do
All the handmade human-sized teddy bears in the museum are made for touching. That means you can squeeze, cuddle and hug them to your heart’s content – just don’t be too rough.
Be sure to take photos with the bears that represent iconic Penangites including Tan Sri P Ramlee, Datuk Jimmy Choo, Datuk Nicol David and Datuk Lee Chong Wei. Photo opportunities are also abundant at the replica of the famous Siam Road char kuew teow and Toh Soon Cafe.
Of course, you can’t discount the wealth of information here. The museum has worked with tourism state agencies and brands to highlight interesting facts and figures.
Plus, if you’re visiting in the late afternoon, you can have some delectable tea time treats at the hotel’s lobby lounge.
Who will like it
Penangites will get a kick out of seeing their beloved state’s heritage and culture portrayed through the various cute teddys. The museum has done a really good job highlighting Penang’s multifarious identity that would do locals proud.
The fun exhibits are an immersive way for students to learn about history, too. Of course, teddy bear lovers will find plenty of joy.
Since it’s located in Batu Ferringhi away from the city centre, public transportation might be an issue. Private vehicles, taxis or Grab would be your best bet.
Address: Ground Floor, DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang, 56, Jalan Low Yat, 11100, Batu Ferringhi, Penang
Tel: 016-550 5949
Opening hours: 9am-6pm