The stunning Blue Mansion of Penang The mansion corridor The courtyard

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Georgetown Overview

The Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is a majestic UNESCO Heritage Site located in Georgetown, Penang (Malaysia). Once the private residence of Cheong Ho, it now serves as a boutique hotel and museum. It is often known as the Blue Mansion because of its distinctive blue-coloured outer walls and external decorations.

Each room in the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion offers a story of its own and has antiques and heirlooms arranged around the space. Built in the Chinese architectural style of the imperial period, the courtyard style house has 38 bedrooms, 7 staircases, 5 granite-paved courtyard and 220 timbre windows.

The Blue Mansion is located very close to many culturally blooming areas of the city, such as Chinatown, the Clan Jetties Floating Village and Little India. The mansion also offers guided tours, full of interesting bits of information for the eternally curious traveller.

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Guided Tour

Visitors can opt for a well-guided, interactive tour of the mansion, the timings of which are as follows:

Mondays to Fridays:
English: 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 3:30 PM
Saturday and Sunday:
English: 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM
Chinese: 12:00 PM, 3:30 PM
Each tour is 45 minutes long. 

Entry Fees:
Adults: RM 18
Children: RM 9.5 

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Penang
The striking Blue Mansion (Source)

Design and Architecture

The Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is especially striking in terms of its architecture that is meant to impress upon its visitors the power and stature of its owner. It is interesting to note that Cheong Fatt Tze chose to forgo the Anglo-Indian designs that were so popular at the time of its construction and instead constructed the mansion in the traditional Chinese style, while also featuring noticeable European features. The mansion also closely follows the rules of Feng Shui.

The blaring blue colour of the mansion is a result of mixing lime with blue dye from the indigo plant, imported from Indian to Penang. This was a highly prized colour, and hence, despite the easy availability of white paint, indigo blue was chosen for the mansion. To this date, this choice of colour sets it apart from the rest of its surroundings.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion Penang
The Blue Mansion's Courtyard (Source)

Historical Significance

The Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion was built in 1890 and was the home of Cheong Fatt Tze, who is also known popularly as the last Mandarin. His was a classic rags-to-riches story; having come from nothing, he made his fortune across East Asia and eventually settled in Penang as the rich businessman from China, referred to as the Great Capitalist in the common tongue. The mansion became Cheong Fatt Tze’s main business headquarters, and soon became the heart of the city. 

The mansion lost its grandeur and fell into disrepair upon the passing of Cheong Fatt Tze. However, when it came up for auction in 1989, the new owner, Mr Lawrence Loh worked tirelessly to restore the mansion to its current stature, because of which it is now recognised as a UNESCO Heritage Site.

How to Reach Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

The Blue Mansion is located in central Penang, between Leith Street and Muntri Street. It can be easily accessed by taxis, ferries and trishaws. The nearest ferry terminal is Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal, which is just 3 km away from the mansion. 

The mansion is also just a short walk away from Chinatown, which is a very popular marketplace and residential area for a large part of the Chinese population of Penang.

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