Monday, June 24, 2024

Blue mansion and The Goddess of Mercy Pavilion

 Cheong Fatt Tze, a 19th Century entrepreneur, was referred to as the John D. Rockefeller of the East. He used his incredible wealth to build one of the most elaborate private residences of the time, the fabled Blue Mansion. He imported artisans from China but also shipped in material from the British Isles, resulting in a mix of architectural styles. Everything, however, was constructed according to the principles of feng shui, which harmonizes individuals with their environment. 


Multiple courtyards and bedrooms allowed all seven wives, and their progeny, to live under one roof.


Following his passing in 1916, the mansion slid into disrepair and eventually became a sort of boarding house for his remaining descendants and tenants.


Fortunately, it was acquired in the 1980's by a conservationist group which faithfully restored the premises. Today, it serves as a boutique hotel/restaurant and has been featured in films such as Crazy Rich Asians.


The Goddess of Mercy Buddhist Pavilion holds a huge statute of Kuan Yin. Founded in 1728, it is the oldest Buddhist Temple in Penang. Miraculously, it has survived several attacks over the decades, including bombing by the Japanese in 1941.


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