It was a loan that created his wealth – a true story of rags to riches that is the history behind one of Georgetown’s most prominent heritage buildings…the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, also known as the Blue Mansion in Penang.

Its vibrant indigo blue walls and décor is enough of a photographer’s dream…but why stop there? To truly appreciate this beautiful building is to learn all about the fascinating history and restoration project that essentially put Georgetown Penang on the map.

Tours are held daily, and the tour guides are vibrant and ohhh so interesting to listen to. I have done this tour twice now, and both times I listened with such curiosity and interest, because the way in which the tour guides tell the story is with great passion and love for the Blue Mansion.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion | Tour Blue Mansion in Georgetown Penang | Hello Raya Blog Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion | Tour Blue Mansion in Georgetown Penang | Hello Raya Blog Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion | Tour Blue Mansion in Georgetown Penang | Hello Raya Blog

Getting hungry in Georgetown Penang? Here’s 10 irresistibly delicious Malaysian food you must try while in Penang.

The Tour of Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion Penang

We all gathered in the lobby area awaiting the start of the tour. 11am on the dot, our friendly guide Teri appeared with a clip-on microphone in hand to make sure everyone could hear her loud and clear.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion | Tour Blue Mansion in Georgetown Penang | Hello Raya Blog

As soon as Teri started sharing the story of Cheong Fatt Tze, we knew we were in for a good one – she was passionate and articulate, and she really knew her stuff.

She began to share the story of the man who created the Blue Mansion in Georgetown. Cheong Fatt Tze was his name, and he was an extremely wealthy man originally from China. But he didn’t grow up wealthy.

In the mid 1800’s, Cheong Fatt Tze left China for Jakarta in hopes to earn himself a better life. He became a water carrier, but unfortunately this was not the career that was going to make him rich. And so he switched tactics and found a job in a paper mill, where here he found the solution to his get rich scheme – he married the boss’ daughter.

While marrying the boss’ daughter did help…it was actually a loan from his father-in-law that changed his life. With the loan, he purchased a range of metals and opium to trade, and this is what made him rich very quickly.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion | Tour Blue Mansion in Georgetown Penang | Hello Raya Blog Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion | Tour Blue Mansion in Georgetown Penang | Hello Raya Blog

It was then in 1886 when Cheong Fatt Tze made his way to Penang where he built the now famous Blue Mansion. It became not only his home, but also his place of business.

The story of Cheong Fatt Tze and his mansion is a fascinating one, and Teri is so animated in the way she shares its history. There isn’t ever a dull moment, because every detail she shares has its purpose in the overall tour and what we get to see.

She shares not only stories of his success in business, but also the many wives he had – 8 in total – one in every port some might say. He had 3 wives in Penang, 2 in Singapore, 1 in Shanghai and 1 in Hong Kong.

Want more ideas of things to do while in Georgetown Penang? Here’s my guide to the must-do things to do in Penang.

Seeing the Smaller Things

Learning about the fascinating history of the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is amazing, and it makes you really see the smaller things in the space. Not only did Teri share the story about the man who created the building, but she also detailed the immense restoration project that started in the early 1990’s by Mr Lawrence Loh – a real advocate to preserve the heritage history of Penang, and whose passion for such project essentially put Georgetown on the map.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion | Tour Blue Mansion in Georgetown Penang | Hello Raya Blog Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion | Tour Blue Mansion in Georgetown Penang | Hello Raya Blog

The restoration project took over 6 years, and Loh was extremely meticulous with the project. So meticulous that UNESCO awarded the Blue Mansion with the prestigious Asia-Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2000 – the first of its kind in Malaysia.

Every nook and cranny of the restoration was thought about, and it was ever so important that the mansion was restored to its original condition – the way that Cheong Fatt Tze himself would have seen the mansion. For instance, upon entering the lobby, you are welcomed with a grandeur wall divider that is intricately designed… Teri explains that resorting this wall divider alone took over 26 hours PER PANEL.

We also learn that the restoration project would bring in skilled workers from China as many of the skills needed to fix the Blue Mansion didn’t exist in Penang.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion | Tour Blue Mansion in Georgetown Penang | Hello Raya Blog Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion | Tour Blue Mansion in Georgetown Penang | Hello Raya Blog

So many foods to try, but don’t know where to start in Georgetown? Go on a Penang Food Tour and go where the locals go!

The Verdict

A total must-do when you are visiting Georgetown in Penang. The tour of the Blue Mansion is fascinating, because they give you such an in-depth story behind the history of this beautiful heritage.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion | Tour Blue Mansion in Georgetown Penang | Hello Raya Blog Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion | Tour Blue Mansion in Georgetown Penang | Hello Raya Blog

I have done a few tours at the different museums in Georgetown and I have to say that the tour of the Blue Mansion has been my favorite. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’ve done this tour twice already and have loved it both times. The first time I did the tour was over 2 years ago, and I still remembered many of the details because the tour guides here do such a great job keeping everyone’s interest awake.

Tours are held daily in three-time slots – 11am, 2pm, and 3:30pm. There is a small fee to pay if you are not a guest of the Blue Mansion (RM17 | A$5.6 | U$4.3 ) and the tour takes approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour in total.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion | Tour Blue Mansion in Georgetown Penang | Hello Raya Blog

No compensation was received for this review, however we were guests of the Blue Mansion in Georgetown Penang. All opinions remains my own and I only promote products/services that I love. 

This article contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase items through these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to youThank you for supporting my blog by using these link. These commissions help reduce the costs of running this site. I only recommend products & services that I personally love and use myself.

 

9 comments on “Explore & Tour the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (Blue Mansion) in Georgetown Penang”

  1. That is the prettiest shade of blue! How stunning! I love tours that you want to do again (and do!) And boy, did he have a lot of wives!

  2. Although the Blue mansion in Penang itself sound very interesting I belive having a good guide makes the place comes alive! Its interesting yo know how a poor guy like Cheong Fatt Tze got to married with the a rich man’s daughter! I know that in our modern time it wouldnt be anything strange but during that time I belive it must have been very hard! However, I am definetely visiting the blue mansion whenever I visit Penang!

  3. Interesting, little relic of the past that you have discovered in Penang! I’ve been there twice but have never ventured to the Cheong Tze Fatt Mansion before. Nevertheless, I’ve heard of it before and would love to pay it a visit after seeing those beautiful Peranakan inspired furniture and architectural designs.

  4. What a fascinating building.It’s absolutely beautiful and so full of history making for a really interesting tour. And I love your photos, you really captured the essence of the place.

  5. Love all that blue and the stories. And 8 wives! Cheong Fatt Tze really did have one in every port. Having a good guide really is key to learning and understanding what’s important in a location like this. It really sounds like you came away with an amazing understanding of the Mansion, including what went into preserving it.

  6. I have a fascination for blue colored houses and so I love this post. Blue Mansion in Georgetown Penang, is beautiful and have lovely interiors with red lamps. I loved the color combinations of blue walls, red lamps and colorful floors. Truly photogenic place.

  7. I haven’t heard of the blue mansion and I have travelled to Georgetown. I also did not know that you could take a tour inside it, sounds like you really enjoyed the tour. The mansion looks amazing as do the interiors, and it’s interesting that they got the Asia-Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation after the restoration of 6 years. I can only imagine how cool it would’ve been to learn the story about the mansion.

  8. What a gorgeous mansion and an amazing story behind it! I’ve never seen such a blue building! It sounds like you had a fabulous guide too. When I make my millions I want a house like that!

  9. Absolutely gorgeous! Somehow anything this blue, would definitely remind me of Greece.
    Its really tours like these that make a visit to a place like this, all the more memorable!
    The eye to the detail is fantastic in the mansion. Indeed a photographer’s dream!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *