The Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (or Blue Mansion) was built by the last of China’s Mandarins, Cheong Fatt Tze. He was known as the Rockefeller of the East, and was quite the jet setter, maintaining large homes (and several wives) in Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong and China as well as the one in Penang. Apparently, The Blue Mansion was his favourite one.
Construction on the Mansion began before the end of the 19th Century, and it was said that Cheong Fatt Tze had hoped to house nine generations of his descendants there (in the end, it was sold following the death of his youngest son who was the only child of his 7th wife).
Principles of Chinese geomancy and Feng Shui played an important role in the design of the house. Skilled craftsmen where brought in from Southern China for the project, and building materials were imported from far flung parts of the world.
Nowadays, in addition to private tours twice a day, the property operates as a form of homestay. It has 16 air-conditioned bedrooms with en-suites. The rooms were each individually designed by a famous local artist according to specific themes.
The house also hosts private functions and is used as a film and TV set. Parts of the movie, Indochine were filmed there, and the old rickshaws below were props from the filming.