One of the places to visit in historic Penang is the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion.
Cheong Fatt Tze (1840-1916) was a rich Hakka Industralist. His mansion was built by master craftsmen that he brought over from China. Consisting of 38 rooms and 48 Stained Glass windows, the mansion boasts of pillars made from the Glasgow cast iron works by McFarlane’s and Co. Shipping of such materials must have cost Mr Cheong a “bomb”, considering that Europe is quite a distance from Penang. The 38 rooms are also badly needed, as Mr Cheong has at least 8 wives! 🙂
Although the Mansion was really run-down in the 1980s, it was conserved and won the UNESCO ‘Most Excellent’ Heritage Conservation Award in 2000.
Besides being used in the 1993 Oscar Winning French Film “Indochine”, Singaporeans will be familiar with this house, as it was used in the filming of “The Little Nyonya”.
I attended the one hour conducted tour of the house, which examined the history and the feng shui components of the well-preserved Mansion. The tour was definitely informative and worth your time, especially if you are interested in History.
I travelled up to Penang with 3 kids younger than 6 years, so I am glad that I left the kids in the hotel for their afternoon nap, as they would have been bored by the facts presented to them!
The house has also a lot of fragile items, so it would be good to warn the kids about running around 🙂