Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Penang

1. Pinang Peranakan Mansion
1. Pinang Peranakan Mansion

One of the two historic cities of the Straits of Malacca, George Town jointly received the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site status in 2008 partly because of its rich living multi-cultural heritage and tradition. Therefore, a visit to Penang Island would be incomplete if tourists do not explore the culture of the Peranakans, among other local communities.

2. open air-well area in the centre of the house for natural light and ventilation
2. open air-well area in the centre of the house for natural light and ventilation
3. the different chambers
3. the different chambers

Also known as Baba (male) and Nyonya (female), the Peranakans make up a prominent community that is unique to the Straits Settlement states of Penang, Malacca and Singapore. Due to this factor, they are also known as the Straits Chinese.

4. set-up of the dining table
4. set-up of the dining table
5. Irish rug used as table cloth
5. Irish rug used as table cloth

This community, having integrated into the local lifestyle and adopted the way of life of the Malays and then the British during its era of colonisation, the Peranakans observe a unique lifestyle, culture, tradition, language and culinary styles that are still passed down with pride from one generation to another.

6. another Western-style dining room
6. another Western-style dining room
7. Nyonya bridal chamber (1930s - 1950s)
7. Nyonya bridal chamber (1930s – 1950s)

In Penang, one of the best places to learn about the Peranakan way of life is the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. This magnificent building has been established as the home of a wealthy Baba and depicts his opulent lifestyle of decades ago. The original home was built in 1894 by Kapitan Cina Chung Keng Kwee and was known as “Hai Kee Chan” or “Sea Remembrance Store”. It once served as Kapitan Chung’s residence and office.

8. another bridal chamber
8. another bridal chamber
9. bridal jewellery and accessories
9. bridal jewellery and accessories

Interestingly, Kapitan Chung was not a Baba himself. Even so, his Chinese courtyard house with an open air-well area in the centre of the house features a British façade and portrays an eclectic international feel in its interior, with furnishings of golden Burmese teak, English sideboards and floor tiles, French cabinets, Irish rugs and Scottish ironwork, among other imported wares.

10. the bridal section
10. the bridal section
11. a bust flanked by a pair of Queens Burmese wares
11. a bust flanked by a pair of Queens Burmese wares

In 1990, the property was procured by its current owner Peter Soon who restored, preserved and furnished the mansion to commemorate not only the legacy of the Peranakan community but also the building’s unique architectural history.

12. love seat of the old days
12. love seat of the old days
13. a collection of vaseline glass epergne
13. a collection of vaseline glass epergne

Today, Pinang Peranakan Mansion is home to more than a thousand pieces of antiques and collectibles, many of which are used to educate visitors on the culture and tradition observed by the Straits Chinese community.

14. Chinese and Peranakan porcelain wares
14. Chinese and Peranakan porcelain wares
15. the room where the portraits of Kapitan Cina Chung Keng Kwee and his wife (original owners of the mansion) are hung on the wall
15. the room where the portraits of Kapitan Cina Chung Keng Kwee and his wife (original owners of the mansion) are hung on the wall

The mansion has been expanded into a complex of five buildings, offering four attractions. Yes, the admission ticket entitles the holder to visit all four sections: The Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum, The Nyonya Kitchen, The Chung Keng Kwee Ancestral Temple, and of course, the Pinang Peranakan Mansion (main building).

16. opium bed
16. opium bed
17. one of the many rooms
17. one of the many rooms

Complimentary guided tours around the complex are available for groups of five persons and above. Prior arrangement is required. Also, do take note that photography or videography at Pinang Peranakan Mansion is disallowed under normal circumstances.

18. wall decoration
18. wall decoration
19. the Nyonya Kitchen
19. the Nyonya Kitchen

Nonetheless, Pinang Peranakan Mansion and its grounds are available for rent for private gatherings and functions. Contact the management for rates at the information provided below.

20. The Chung Keng Kwee Ancestral Temple
20. The Chung Keng Kwee Ancestral Temple
21. The Chung Keng Kwee Ancestral Temple
21. The Chung Keng Kwee Ancestral Temple

Ticket price (inclusive of 6% GST):
Adult: RM21.20
Child (below 12 years): RM10.60
*rates are subject to change without notice

Visiting hours: 9.30am – 5pm daily (unless notified by the management)

22. Nyonya Lillian Tong, Museum Director of Pinang Peranakan Mansion, with her two published books on Peranakan culture and tradition
22. Nyonya Lillian Tong, Museum Director of Pinang Peranakan Mansion, with her two published books on Peranakan culture and tradition

Pinang Peranakan Mansion
Add: 29, Church Street, 10200 Penang.
Tel: +604-2642929
Fax: +604-2641929
Email: rmhbaba@gmail.com
Web: http://www.pinangperanakanmansion.com.my/

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With love

13 thoughts on “Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Penang

  1. Didn’t know that Baba and Nyonya are in Penang too. Thought only Melaka. Will pay a visit when I’m in Penang .

  2. i would also recommend this museum to everyone! they have professional guides who will explain everything properly, and the mansion has a lot to offer!

  3. There’s a lot of things that i love about Penang. Their foods, dialect, beautiful places, and their women are so good looking. One of my fav places.

  4. I so outdated as I did not know Penang has Peranakan culture. Love the classic design.

  5. Lovely pictures and the mansion is absolutely stunning. Will definitely need to make a visit.

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