The Blue Mansion, built in the 1880s by the merchant Cheong Fatt Tze, who used it as his home and business, is now a hotel. The building fell into disrepair after the merchants death in 1916, and was restored in 1995.
The architecture of the mansion originates from the Su Chow Dynasty Period in China. The mansion has 38 rooms, 5 granite-paved courtyards, 7 staircases and 220 windows. The distinctive blue colour, popular in the Colonial period, was chosen because the Chinese associate the colour white with death. Photos are not allowed inside the building.
A ten minute ride on the funicular railway, takes one to the top of Penang Hill. The funicular track is the longest in Asia, 1,996 metres from the lower to the upper station, and has the steepest tunnel track in the world, 79 metres long, 3 meters wide, with a gradient of 27.9 degrees.
Penang Hill is actually a number of hills, the highest point being Western Hill, 833 metres above sea level. From the viewing deck there are good views of the island and the mainland.
The Kek Lok Si Temple, built in 1891, is said to be the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia.
The Cantonese, Tua Pek Kong Temple was built by the Hakka and Cantonese communities to ensure they had a place to worship the god of prosperity. Built in the middle of the 18th century, and renovated around 1909, the Temple follows a Hokkien style of temple architecture rather than the Cantonese style. The temple sits in between the Chong San Wooi Koon building and the Toishan Nin Yong Temple.
The Toishan Nin Young Temple is windowless, the large, wide door providing the only light into the building. The stark granite walls are offset by a decorative roof and intricate paintings and gold inlay.
Chong San Wooi Koon is the meeting place for a Cantonese clan association, and features intricate Cantonese architectural styles and decorations.