This time, we decided to pull over the car and explore the nooks and corners of Old Penang on foot. Unknowingly, the quiet path that we took is a heritage trail that leads to one of the oldest Straits Chinese clan associations in the core zone of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in Georgetown, the small entrance of Cheah Kongsi is like a hidden recess along Armenian Street. The distinctive temple roof and the red-walled passageway did look inviting enough for us to step into the historic property.
As we walked into the garden, the keeper of the property appeared out of nowhere (*mysterious*) to welcome us and even offered to show us around the place. It was free entrance plus a helpful guide! The 1870s Penang-style temple is a hybrid of a Chinese temple, a Chinese courtyard mansion and a colonial bungalow.
Traditional red Chinese doors with painted figures.
The Chinese script on the wall was written by the Chinese revolutionary leader, Dr Sun Yat-sen. This used to be a meeting room on the ground floor.
We were surprised that the temple is actually located on the second level of the property instead of the ground level like most temples.
This is the temple on the second level.
The intricate design and structure of the two-storey building has an interesting blend of Chinese, Malay and European identities.
The keeper was quite amused to find me busily snapping away in the mansion and asked if I would be photographing every part of it. I told him “It’s not possible. There are so much to appreciate in this clan house; unless I can stay here.” May I?
An old antique cabinet displaying porcelain art.
Apparently, it’s a recreation room with an opium bed on the right and a Mahjong table in the centre!
An old time office. Just look at the young Queen Elizabeth’s portrait and you can guess the age of this office!
The bedroom of a Peranakan. This property seems to have something of everything!
And there is an old school in the premises too!
Stay tuned for more Penang updates!
I love all these Penang Chinese old houses. Reminds me of my late grandma house!
nice!! i have been to khoo kongsi… and peranakan museum so damn nice…
@peteformation: interesting heritage!
@fufu: wow maybe I should drop by Khoo Kongsi and the Peranakan museum for the next round of trip. Need to pay for admission to those places right? 😛 Cheah Kongsi is free admission!
i went to this house before in penang….u got saw my picture at the notice board…were u accompanied and guided by an old man?
nice pics by u! luv it!
the start of ur penang series! i’m just about completing mine for this round’s visit. i came across this entrance tooo… took a snap of it but didn’t explore further… didn’t expect there to be much inside.. but good thing u did… it’s got some interesting antiques and history.
I have not been to Penang and all your photos are making me wanted to go more! 😀
Lovely, well taken pictures! That’s great heritage in Penang. By the way did you went over to Batu Ferringhi? My friends who traveled to Penang told me that there are great beaches at Batu Ferringhi.
@via: Thanks! Our guide is in his middle age I think, probably in his 50s.
@lechua: yeah, another series of Penang, I visit Penang a few times a year. 😀 Gosh there r so much to explore in Penang, if one appreciates its history and cultures.
@henry: huh? Surprise!!
@Bryan: Thanks, yes been to Batu Ferringhi before and didn’t cover that in this series. Actually, I don’t know much about Batu Ferringhi, just find it quite touristy, with many luxurious hotels. Maybe I should go there again to discover more about that place. 😀