A visit to the Pinang Peranakan Mansion provides a good introduction to the history and culture of the Peranakans (also known as Babas and Nyonyas). These Straits Chinese settlers were unique to this part of the world, and adopted certain ways of life from both local Malaysians and the colonial British.
With more than 1000 items on display, this opulent mansion showcases a typical affluent Baba household from a century ago, giving an insight into their lavish lifestyle, as well as their many customs and traditions. Built at the end of the 19th century, this courtyard house features traditional Chinese carved-wood panels combined with English tiles, European furniture, and Scottish ironworks.
A trip to the Pinang Peranakan Mansion can be incorporated into a heritage tour of Penang, which includes visiting other cultural and architectural wonders, such as Khoo Kongsi and Fort Cornwallis.
Insider’s Tip: As there isn’t a great deal of written information within the mansion, using a tour guide is highly recommended. If not visiting as part of an organized tour, complimentary tours can be arranged by calling ahead, with a minimum of five people required.
The Pinang Peranakan Mansion is located along Church Street in George Town, making it easily accessible by rickshaw, or even on foot.