The most memorable bit of my short visit was the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. I’d only known that it was painted a beautiful blue, but the walking tour taught me an abundance about Mr. Cheong’s story and his rags-to-riches legacy.
(We’d visited the mansion the same day our own founding father, Lee Kuan Yew was honored back home and given his final and most deserved send-off to Mandai Crematorium. All the stories of CFT’s brilliant mind, hard work and kindness resonated deeply with me as I silently wished I could be in Singapore to be with my fellowmen. The throngs of people gathering on our streets, as his comrades of his colleagues in the cabinet, family and friends marched passed on the roads alongside his peacefully-rested coffin, was a heartwarming yet wretchedly painful sight. I have nothing but thanks and appreciation for the man who built our country up with his two bare, ready and unbreakable hands. RIP LKY.)
Much alike our Founding Father, CFT was a visionary with the the prodigal brains to boot. Imagine growing up as a pauper’s dyslexic son and only learning to verbally converse at the age of 8. I won’t delve into his whole history and accomplishments here, but let’s just say it’s suffice to leave anyone both impressed and ashamed of their lack of honorable slash respectable influence.
The 19th-century mansion is giaganormous, but since it’s long been converted into a hotel – aka The Blue Mansion, we were only given a tour of the main courtyard and the second story above it. Most of the furniture and ancient fixtures are no longer the originals, but being in the presence of the tall ceilings and paneled walls, and walking on the tiles (original) that the family once roamed was a time-traveling experience on its own. Growing up in a HDB, I don’t imagine any of us could ever get used to living in an abode as massive and lavish as this one. FYI, his mansion – he has several all over the region – in China stands even wider and longer. Just imagine.
Very glad we took the time to visit the Blue Mansion that day. I’d actually been suffering from a bout of nausea (not impregnated) but by the end of the tour, I was all good. Surely there’s some magic within the four walls. `