I have no other word in mind to express the reason why I paid another visit but compulsion. The decision came instantly one lazy Sunday afternoon. Without concrete and serious logic, I spent an hour trip via buses and ferry from our current place in Butterworth, Penang and strolled my way from Penang Street in George Town to Church Street under the heat of scorching summer sun.
The cliche, “One is enough, two is too much” doesn’t apply to my unexplainable attraction to what I personally call, The Green Mansion. My very first visit to Pinang Peranakan Mansion several months back was followed by a sudden impulse to go back. Perhaps, because I knew I have not seen enough and there are a lot more details yet to be appreciated. Or maybe, I was just looking for subjects where my lame photography skills would be put to practice. Either way, to say that I enjoyed my visit again was an understatement. People may look at the experience as something like watching a great movie over and over again. However, the visit to Pinang Peranakan Mansion for me, was actually so much better!
Res ipsa loquitor -“Evidence speaks for itself.” Those antique metal pillars in the central courtyard of the mansion were imported from Glasgow, a proof that the mansion was built on wealth.
Hey gold jewelries, we meet again…
There are more to appreciate beyond the thousands of collections of the by-gone-era. Call me a fool but I am drowned in fascination of the tiniest details this mansion has. Nothing was overlooked. Everything was done in grandeur.
Out of the massive volume of picture-worthy things inside the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, one may miss to admire these door handles in blue, orange and green crystals. If my memory serves me right, there’s also red crystal door handle in one of the rooms in the ground floor which I failed to capture. I didn’t notice them myself on my first visit! Educate me please, is this kind of door handles common in your places? Pardon my innocence, but I have not seen such, thus my amazement. I like the contrast of the colored crystals with the metal and the wood; they make a very intersting visual feast, at least for me.
Scottish iron-works, Chinese carved-wood panels, English floor tiles were put together in this century-old stately mansion that previously served as the residence and office of Kapitan Cina Chung Keng Kwee.
Wooden screens gilded in gold.
“The Peranakans, also known as Babas and Nyonyas, are a community of acculturated Chinese unique to this part of the world. They are also known as the Straits Chinese, having settled along the British Straits Settlements of Penang, Malacca and Singapore. The Peranakans adopted local Malay ways and the British colonial lifestyle. These influenced its rich culture, customs, cuisine, language and lifestyle that are still evident in Penang today.” -via PPM Visitors’ Guide.
It must be my exposure to similar Filipino furnitures that I have an eye to these ultimately beautiful fine set of mother-of-pearls flawlessly embedded in those intricately carved wooden furnitures. It’s all in the details, I tell you.
To me, these seats look like thrones.
Allow me to digress. I grew up with both of my parents working; my mom worked more than expected of her in the office back home and my dad was a Saudi-boy for almost 2 decades. Needless to say, I and my siblings were oftenly left not with a nanny but with our late maternal grandmother. Isa akong laki sa Lola, ‘ika nga. But it was my mom who personally inculcated discipline to us. I remember my Lola as someone who’s strict at everything, almost perfectionist but lived her life with simple past times. Among them were gardening, playing sungka (or as Malaysians call it, congkak) and sewing our pillow cases and curtains all by herself. She owned a Singer sewing machine before, so my memories of her resurfaced in a blink when I saw this Green Mansion’s collections… I love you, Mama Idang! We miss you and Lolo Ama! 😦
On a lighter note, in this age of LED, LCD TV and whatnot, this for me still looks hot! haha! 🙂 Seriously, I cannot imagine the cost of this antique in shops; it must be a fortune!
The Pinang Peranakan Mansion is gorgeous in monochrome, even stunning in colors!
If someone will ask me about the must-visit sites in George Town Penang, indubitably, the Pinang Peranakan Mansion tops my list. I HAD FUN! I wish to go back whenever I get the compulsion again. 😉
View more photos from my first visit here : Pinang Peranakan Mansion
Pinang Peranakan Mansion. 29 Church Street 10200 Penang, Malaysia. Admission at the time of this posting: Adult RM10 (USD 3.24 or PhP 140), Child : RM5 (Child below 6 years -free). Open Daily from 9:30AM to 5PM even Public Holidays unless specified.