Langkawi Art in Paradise – 3D museum with kids
My daughter stared at me, an expression of terror on her face. ‘Perfect!’ I said enthusiastically. ‘Now just take half a step to the left and do that again’. Wandering around a museum with pictures designed to trick the eye might not sound like it equals hours of fun, but as we discovered in Langkawi, that’s exactly what it does do.
I’d seen photos from other 3D art museums, or trick eye museums, in various countries around Asia, so wasn’t going to pass up a visit to Langkawi Art in Paradise while we were in Malaysia. If I’m honest, I thought it would be an entertaining option if any of the occasional forecast showers arrived – or if we needed an air-conditioned escape from sunning ourselves by the pool.
What I didn’t expect was to come out grinning, having both thoroughly hammed it up for the camera, fending off hippos, dragons and dinosaurs, walking into story books, surfing and sitting in gondolas, narrowly avoiding being eaten by pandas and taking a ride on a flying carpet, among a LOT of other options.
I also didn’t expect my daughter to be quite as enthusiastic as me, taking the phone to snap photos of me as I posed in various unlikely positions. Some might be a bit blurry and wonky, but for once, there are some pictures of me to share on the blog! Give her another year, and I might outsource…
As we scampered merrily around, there are a few things I discovered, if you’re planning to visit…
1. It’s sometimes surprisingly hard to see the final effect while you’re standing there – your eyes are less easily fooled as you walk around, so if someone else is insisting you try something particular, do as they say! It was only after some convincing by my five-year-old that I shifted to be in the dinosaur’s mouth.
2. But there are tips as you walk. At Langkawi Art in Paradise, at least, there are points marked on the floor telling you where to stand to take the photo – they even tell you which way round to hold your phone (although the image of the phone is always shown as portrait, which managed to confuse me to start with).
3. Try to go when it’s quiet. It goes without saying, but check the popular times online before you go if possible – and avoid. People tended to be fairly polite and wait their turn, but after one enthusiastic group of four each had an individual photo with an eagle, then in pairs, then all together, then a few more to get a different facial expression, we were very nearly tapping our feet to have our own go.
4. But do watch other people – we got some inspiration of different poses from spotting groups in front of us (plus it’s pretty funny seeing everyone else get into character).
5. There’s a sound and light show in one of the bigger rooms. Minnie is very definitely not a fan of dark rooms, loud noises and flashing lights, so we very nearly scampered through – I’m glad we waited it out though, as we’d have missed a couple of the major rooms, including one above the main show which was plunged into darkness as a result.
Equally, if you don’t want to miss it, try to find out the time in advance or make sure you hang around the crumbling Egyptian statue pictures for a bit. We didn’t get any information when we went in, but there were announcements once inside.
6. You’ll need to take your shoes off – there’s a place to leave them, just like you might in a bowling alley, but be ready to wander around in bare feet. Try not to take too many bags as you’ll be permanently pushing them just out of shot.
7. Phone cameras seem to get a better result than my DSLR did – I’m not quite sure why (could well be user error!) unless it’s that the artwork is designed to be snapped on phones and shared.
8. Don’t hold back! Bring out the thwarted thespian and all the big emotions. Minnie was surprisingly convincing, I had to remind myself she wasn’t actually petrified of the whole experience when I looked back through the photos.
9. Don’t rush it… the one time her face fell for real was when we realised we had made our way to the exit. If she could, I suspect she’d have gone back to the start and repeated the whole lot again.
Need to know
Langkawi Art in Paradise 3D Museum is in Oriental Village – this is also where you can get the cable car and head up to the Sky Bridge (unless you time your visit for its fortnight’s annual maintenance, as we unintentionally did).
There are also various shops and restaurants, plus you can take the Duck Tour from here. There are tour packages for some of the Oriental Village attractions or you can buy ticket combos, depending what you want to see. On our visit, the tickets were being sold by the cable car entrance, not at the museum itself.
Oriental Village is a very short taxi ride from The Danna hotel, where we stayed.
The second largest 3D museum in the world, and the largest in Malaysia, it costs around £7 for adults and £5.25 for children aged two to 12. According to google, people spend around 2 1/2 hours here. We spent around 90 minutes but it was very quiet so barely had to queue or wait. Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days, while lunchtimes and early afternoons tend to be busiest during the week.
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Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links. Any purchases you make are unaffected but I may receive a few pennies as a result. We paid for our own entry, all opinions and over-the-top facial expressions are our own.
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