Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sites : Nyonya (Peranakan) Mansion, George Town, Penang, Malaysia

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Nyonya Mansion, George Town, Penang MalaysiaNovember, 2012
Rickshaws parked at the front courtyard of the mansion
This blog is in two pages, click below to select the other page:
Go to Page 2 - The First Floor

I was wandering the streets of the inner core of the George Town UNESCO Heritage Zone when I came upon this Baba-Nyona mansion at Church street. I have heard of it before, so why not popped in for a visit?

One cannot miss this building, it's bright pastel green walls shout for attention. Entry is through a side compound, the front doors are closed. The address is 29, Church Street.

Even before entering, the unique wrought iron fencing grilles hints on what to expect - a stately mansion steeped in history.

Entry to the compound is via the ancient, heavy wrought iron gates.

Just before entering the building proper, a small desk acts as a ticketing station.
I paid the RM10-00 entrance fee to the two young guys manning the station. It's open everyday from 9:30am to 5:00pm.
But I note with a bit of indignation that the house was called a "Peranakan Mansion"; the former occupants would have turned in their graves on hearing this name.

I myself comes from Baba-Nyonya parentage. In my young days, I have never heard ourselves being referred to as Peranakan. It was Baba for calling gentlemen (or Ah Bah in short) and Nyonya for ladies (or Ah Nya in short) and the culture referred to as Baba-Nyonya (or more often Nyonya culture); but never Peranakan.
I guess, the tourism authorities were trying to streamline with the Malacca and Singapore way of calling the Straits Chinese.
But I must beg to differ!
Nyonya sounds so romantic, whilst "Peranakan" is such a mouthful!


The moment I stepped through the threshold into the building, I felt transported to the past, to a colonial era of the late 1800's and early 1900's when the Nyonya culture was at its prime.

At the center is the main courtyard, with a unique stone table & accompanying stone stools.

Glazed porcelain stools at one side of the courtyard.

Looking upwards from the main courtyard, the first floor is framed by more detail wrought iron railings and arch grilles. 

The top of the iron columns are also similarly decorated.

To the right of the main courtyard is the dining room.

The Dining Room.

To the left is a private discussion room, where the old Baba towkay would have had his meeting with his peers. Entry is through two archways on each side, while the center has fold-able timber panels that opens or closes for privacy.

Detail view of carved timber panel.

Reclining chair at the inner section of the discussion room.

Antique wrought iron window grille.

Ahead was the staircase area, with antique furniture & interesting photos on the wall.

Wooden divan inlaid with mother of pearl.

The wall below the staircase.

Photo of a Nyonya lady in traditional costume.

Framed-up traditional Nyonya blouse.

Antique wooden framed mirror.

Window glass mosaic pane, to the right of the ground floor staircase wall.

This blog is in two pages, click below to select the other page:
Go to Page 2 - The First Floor

Baba-Nyonya Mansion Location Map (Google Map Link)
Baba-Nyonya Mansion
29 Church Street
10200 George Town

GPS : 5.418134, 100.341287
          +5° 25' 5.28", +100° 20' 28.63"

Tel: 604-2642929
Fax: 604-2641929
Web Site:

Visiting Hours: 9.30am to 5pm
Monday to Sunday including Public Holidays 
Entrance Fees: RM10.00 for adult and free for children below 6 years

Related Blogs :

Travel Sites : Nyonya (Peranakan) Mansion - The 1st Floor, George Town, Malaysia

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    1. Thanks for the comments.
      It's very encouraging,
      AND I will Blog On!