Antiques, artifacts and furnishings give a glimpse into the lives of the elite Chinese families of 19th-century Penang.
The Pinang Parankan Mansion is a beautifully decorated replica of a 19th-century, upper-class home. You won’t miss the building as you make your way along Church Street, in Georgetown, as its mint green walls and carved wooden doors inlaid with gold make the intended bold statement to passersby. The opulence continues inside as you make your way through a grand entrance hall filled with Asian lacquerware boxes and trays, Chinese prints and antique European furniture. Dining areas complete with exquisite English china settings add to the sense of luxury.
This mansion was the home of a prominent Chinese Straits immigrant who made his fortune in mining. It was built at the end of the 19th century, combining tiles from England, elaborate ironwork from Scotland and decorative Chinese wooden panels.
Make your way up the impressive staircase to the bedrooms, where numerous antiques are laid out, giving the sense that the ladies of the house might return at any moment. Take in the bridal chamber, with its plush silk bedclothes and personal items such as bracelets, hair pins and sandals, all considered essential for well-off women of the time. Enjoy the views from the balconies or, to see who once wandered among all this decadence, browse the family portraits hung in the halls.
Join a guided tour to find out more about the objects on display and this fascinating period of Malaysian history. Knowledgeable volunteers will explain the backstory of the house as well as the characters who lived here. Tours are offered twice daily.
Pinang Perakanen Mansion is serviced by the free Central Area Transit (CAT) shuttle bus, which stops at major attractions in the Georgetown district. The mansion is open daily, except for Sundays and public holidays, and there is an entry fee.