As part of their Introduction to Tourism and Fundamentals of Food class, a group of hospitality and tourism students from the School of Hospitality and Tourism visited the Wonder Food Museum Penang on 14 March 2023. The purpose of the visit was to give students the opportunity to learn about Malaysia’s distinct food culture and its relationship to the tourism industry.
The Penang Wonder Food Museum is housed in a 1940s colonial building in Georgetown and is divided into three galleries: the Info Zone, the Wow Zone, and the Educational Zone. All of the zones highlight Malaysia’s gastronomic heritage through hyper-realistic models of Malaysian dishes handcrafted by the museum’s owner, Sean Lao, using Japanese food replication techniques.
Jia Yuan, the museum’s Assistant General Manager, gave the students valuable information about the museum’s historical significance, diverse cultures related to gastronomy, and Malaysian multiculturalism. The visit also allowed students to develop critical thinking skills and 21st-century lifelong learning skills.
The museum’s first rooms play with food colours and motivational quotes on the walls, such as “What if food was colour blind?” We can live without discrimination,’ he says, emphasising the importance of inclusivity. Furthermore, the replicas in the museum are exquisitely crafted, enhancing the students’ learning experience.
Aside from improving student learning, the visit allowed students to participate actively in the process of acquiring knowledge and express their ideas on practical ways of learning. The students finished their visit by taking quirky and unique photos in the Wonder Food Museum, which served as a fun and interactive way of learning.
The Wonder Food Museum Penang provides a unique and educational experience for students studying hospitality and tourism. The museum offers an excellent opportunity for students to learn about the historical significance of food, to respect different cultures, and to develop critical thinking skills. Such visits not only enhance learning but also help to develop a comprehensive understanding of the tourism industry.