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November 19, 2009

Pinang Peranakan Mansion

My ancestors from my grandma (father's side) were Nyonya and Baba. I have plenty of the Peranakan collectibles inherit from my great grandmother, including the Nyonya batik, silver belt, silver hair pins, crochets, earrings, etc... This weekend after stopping for 3 months of travelling around, I started off again with the Heritage journey in my own hometown. I felt ashame for only starting to post about Penang only after the celebrationg of its 1st anniversary of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Thus the first highlight of the Heritage tour I chose Pinang Peranakan Mansion located at the Church Street. Besides the stories told by dad, I get to know more about the Peranakan culture after visited this green mansion of ‘Hai Kee Chan’ or Sea Remembrance Store which had once served as the residence and office of Kapitan Cina Chung Keng Kwee.

The Peranakans, also known as the Babas and Nyonyas, was a prominent community of acculturated Chinese unique to this part of the world, especially in the Straits Settlements (Penang, Malacca and Singapore) hence its other name, the Straits Chinese. Adopting selected ways of the local Malays and later, the colonial British, the Peranakans had created a unique lifestyle and customs which had not only left behind a rich legacy of antiques but its cultural influences like cuisine and language are still evident in Penang today.


At the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, the typical home of a rich Baba of a century ago is recreated to offer a glimpse of their opulent lifestyle and of their many customs and traditions. With over 1,000 pieces of antiques and collectibles of the era on display, this Baba-Nyonya museum is also housed in one of Penang’s heritage mansion of eclectic design and architecture. Built at the end of the 19th century by one of local history’s famous personalities, the ‘Hai Kee Chan’ or Sea Remembrance Store had once served as the residence and office of Kapitan Cina Chung Keng Kwee. Though not a Baba himself, his Chinese courtyard house was much like a typical large Baba home of eclectic style, incorporating Chinese carved-wood panels and English floor tiles and Scottish ironworks. Having survived the many decades of neglect and decay, the mansion has now been restored to its former glory of a stately home. - Pinang Peranakan Mansion Sdn. Bhd

Pinang Peranakan Mansion showcases the opulent lifestyle of the Peranakans and their many customs and traditions, displaying over a thousand pieces of antiques and collectibles of this unique community. The present building comprises the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, housed in the main building, and the annexes which houses the ancestral temple.

The entrance to the mansion.

front view

The main entrance that had been sealed.

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The big painting of the Baba and Nyonya at the main entrance.

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A typical Chinese house entrance.

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Familiar antique cupboard, similar to my late grandparents'.

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Now let me tour you around the mansion. This is the side entrance meant for family members.

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The courtyard.

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The main staircase.

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The main staircase incorporates the use of both local and imported materials in its construction, handrail with balusters of cast iron, from Glasgow, Scotland. A distinct feature of European influence includes the hollowed out design of fleur-de-lis on the decorative ironwork. See the pillar?

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It was imported all the way from Glasgow. Original pillars in the main hall.

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Now let's go to the upstairs. Guided tour will be provided if there are more than 10 people at a time. Exhibited in the glass cabinet are the Veseline Glass Epergnes from England.

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On the walls you can see the ancestors painting.

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Look at the artwork!! It's an antique altar table.

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Reflection of a camwhore in the antique mirror.

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Now I'm beginning to appreciate these. I love my silver belt.

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There were video shooting during our visit.

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Bedroom.

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The Nyonya Kebaya!! I could hardly fit in my grandma's....she was so thin last time. These are so lovely and elegant. I wish these are mine.

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"Manek eh". Meaning bead shoes.

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Cupboard from the olden days.

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Now going downstairs. Another view on the courtyard. Old time design but very high tech.

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The kitchen.

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The meeting table for servants to decide what to cook daily.

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The ancestral temple. The fifth generation who is already 78 years old still come to this temple for morning prayers everyday.

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Hell on the left.

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Heaven on the right. Can you spot the difference? For Chinese, clouds represent heaven.

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"Peaceful" and "happiness".

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The wall painting is original.

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Day dreaming that this is my ancestor's house. I have Nyonya blood too, only not a pure Nyonya. Little Nyonya?? =p

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One of the things that impressed me, the colorful glass window at the dining room.

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Both sides are similar. Impressive!!

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The family dining room.

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The guest dining room. English style dining room to serve the Chinese guests.

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After the tour, we went back to the upstairs. Nice balcony view right?

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The call this the "Kissing Chair". In "S" shape.

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Collection of Famille Rose Turquoise plates and bowls from late 19th century.

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Playing with the antique camera.

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...as if I'm back to my grandparents' house...

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Back to the ground floor front hall.

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Lazing in the front hall in a sunny afternoon.

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In Straits Eclectic and Chinese homes, the front hall or parlor is typically separated from the rest of the house by an ornately carved wooden screen.

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For business, for the men. Businessmen gathered here to discuss about business. Place to earn money.

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For leisure, for the women. The visitors' wives gathered here and play mahjong. Place to spend money. Hahah!

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Mahjong.

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The reflection mirror. Exactly opposite each other.

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So that's about it for the tour around the mansion. More beautiful photos which I cannot post all here. Oh ya, this place had been used for movie shooting too!

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Love the lanterns at the entrance.

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Proud being a Penangite! For UNESCO World Heritage Site!!

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End of tour. Now only I realize that my dress matches the building so perfectly!!

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Found this before leaving. Some visitors 'decorated' the letterbox with their entrance sticker here.

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The new Penang Mafia. Hahaha...

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Visiting Hours
Monday to Sunday including Public Holidays from 9:30 am to 5 pm

Admission
Adults : RM10.00
Children (below 6) : Free
Complimentary conducted tours are only available with prior arrangements for a group of 5 persons and above. All rates are subject to change without notice. Discounts are available to school bookings and other large groups. Contact for prior bookings and more information to enjoy these special rates.

Venue Hire
The Mansion and its grounds are available for private gatherings and events.
For enquires and reservations, kindly contact
29, Church Street, 10200 Penang, Malaysia.
telephone: 604-2642929, fax: 604-2641929
e-mail: rmhbaba@streamyx.com.
e-mail 2: rmhbaba@gmail.com.

4 comments:

great picture~
the entrance a bit expensive rm 10

RM 10 is expensive? for all that treasure? you must be a cheapskate moron. A pack of Dunhill is already RM 10...

Its gorgeous! My cousin just had her wedding there!

How is RM 10 expensive?

awsome collection !! there's another restaurant cum straits chinese artifacts musuem at the end of king's street meeting light street next to the former HOE PENG coffee shop...

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