Monday, 29 October 2012

Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, Penang


Penang is a melting pot of cultures with east-west influences. Apart from its exotic food, what piques me the most would be their heritage.

The Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi (龙山堂邱公司), or simply, Khoo Kongsi for short, is a clan association in Penang that was built by the immigrants from Sin Kang village in the Hokkien province of China for the purpose of looking after the welfare of their fellow clansmen.

Before my visit, I wonder why many have commented on the elusiveness of its location? It was only when I was there in person that I truly understood what they meant.

The main entrance at Cannon Street bears no clue as to what might be inside as it looked just like any of its neighbors along the entire row of pre-war building.

It was only after going through a winding alley beyond the main entrance that the Temple, which is built in the middle of a courtyard, appeared right before my eyes.

The temple was hidden behind a labyrinth of walls thus it actually cannot be seen from the outside. In fact, the temple was surrounded by a cluster of shophouses pretty much like a fortress.

At first glance, I was captivated by the splendour of the architectural design of the temple which was built according to the principles of fengshui. Did you know that there is a meaning behind every intricate carving and decoration that could be found on the walls, windows, beams and roof?

Consisting of two levels, the top level is where the main altar and ancestral hall are while the lower level is a museum detailing the history of the Khoo clan. 

On the extreme left-hand side of the temple is a defunct kitchen featuring some traditional food cabinets, pit stoves that runs on firewood and a couple of wax people having a meal at the table. 

I shall not bore you further with the history of Khoo Kongsi but you can read up more here from their website should you be interested.

The temple




Murals and carvings

The main altar

Plaques honoring the major achievements of male members of the clan

Below are photos from the museum on the lower level.







And below is the now defunct kitchen.





LEONG SAN TONG KHOO KONGSI (龙山堂邱公司)
18 Cannon Square
10200 Penang
Malaysia

Tel:
+604-261 4609

Opening Hours:
9am - 5pm daily including Sundays and Public Holiday

Entrance Fees:
Adults RM 10  
Children (under 12 years old) FREE
Students RM 1
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