The Malaysian state of Penang has acquired a reputation as a popular visitor destination, offering a host of leisure and cultural attractions for the visitor. One of these sightseeing attractions is the splendid Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion which is always an engrossing place to visit.
This magnificent edifice which was constructed in the 1880s was initially built as the private residence of Cheong Fatt Tze, a wealthy and influential individual of the Chinese community. The site of this building was the Penang Straits Settlement which was a rapidly developing area at the time.
No expense was spared in the construction of the mansion, which was designed and built by talented and skilled craftsmen from China who were specially brought in for the assignment. The stately home was constructed featuring 38 rooms, seven staircases, 220 windows and five granite-inlaid courtyards. The layout of the mansion conforms to the principles of the Chinese art of feng shui.
Although many old buildings in Penang have suffered at the hands of modernity and development, the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion was spared from this fate thanks to the efforts of a group of dedicated preservationists.
Today the visitor will see many features of interest at the mansion, including Chinese wooden carvings, windows with Gothic louvers, red-brown walls composed of brick, decorative porcelain elements, panels of stained glass featuring art nouveau aspects, imported floor tiles from the United Kingdom and other attractions. Another noteworthy element in the building is the cast ironwork sourced all the way from Scotland. Within the edifice you will see a splendid collection of carvings, sculptures, antiques and tapestries.
An interesting aspect of the layout and construction of the mansion is that it employs and integrates elements of both Chinese and Western architectural traditions. This reflects Cheong Fatt Tze’s esteemed status as a prominent Chinese administrator and official. The cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic nature of this stately home adds to its grandeur and unique appeal. Even today the visitor will be enthralled by this magnificent residence.
Travellers to the state considering a convenient Penang hotel will be pleased by the Copthorne Orchid Hotel Penang. This attractive Tanjung Bungah hotel offers comfortable interiors and an appealing tranquil ambience.
Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.