The Pinang Peranakan Mansion is one of the best-surviving examples of the lavish lifestyle of a prominent community that thrived in 19th-century Malaysia.
The Peranakan, also known as the Baba Nyonya in Penang, are largely the descendants of Chinese men who came to the Malay archipelago centuries ago and married local Malay women. During the colonial era, they mainly engaged in trade and business, making them extremely wealthy in both currency and exposure to other cultures.
Their opulent homes speak to the wealth and high status they enjoyed. The Pinang Peranakan Mansion is a particularly exquisite example of their culture, which has begun to decline in Malaysia and Singapore.
The Pinang Peranakan Mansion belonged to Chung Keng Quee, who was among the wealthiest residents of Penang in the late 1800s. His fortune was derived mainly from his businesses in mining. His mansion was built in a style unique within this part of the world, as it’s an eclectic mix of Chinese and European design elements.
Today, it serves as a museum dedicated to Peranakan culture. Inside, a large collection of furniture, silverware, dresses, decorations, collectibles, and appliances is kept on display. This collection provides fascinating insight into the culture’s lifestyles and customs.
Know Before You Go
It's open Monday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The admission fee is 20RM (~$5 USD). For tours of the mansion, please make arrangements in advance.