Continuing my recent discussion about why Penang is an excellent choice for MM2H applicants despite lacking “big city” atmosphere, I want to give credit to an amazing little place called The Camera Museum. Easily one of the most unusual and informative small museums anywhere, the guided tour and amazing arrangement of historical information make this mostly undiscovered place a hidden gem and warrants a spot in the best of class for all museums in Southeast Asia. Opened in 2013, it devotes an entire floor to the history of cameras, a seemingly mundane topic that actually has a fascinating history dating back to the 16th century. I’ll bet you can’t name the inventor of the first workable camera prototype (don’t feel dumb; hardly anyone knows because most museums stick to photography).
But more on that later. Back to the point, one thing we love about Penang is how you never know what you’ll find. Setting out with the general goal of visiting the museum, Diane and I took the bus to Love Lane, the main backpacker friendly area of Penang where you’ll find many coffee-house, hostels and cheap rooms. First off, unlike almost anywhere in Thailand, the first thing you’ll notice is Penang is much less crowded when it comes to the younger crowd. Primarily a Muslim country by population, Malaysia levies heavy taxes on alcohol which tends to discourage young party animals. Additionally, conservative values means less hotties in skimpy bikinis and no topless Europeans on the beaches which also keeps the younger crowd on the other side of the border in Thailand. Don’t get me wrong; I love hotties on beaches as much as any guy but could easily do without the excessive noise, rowdiness and stupidity that comes with college age crowds and sports bars showing football to drunks for thirteen straight hours. So for us, Penang makes a great choice and Thailand is a quick plane ride away should we get bored with the lack of nightlife.