Set in the heart of George Town on Armenian Street, the Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple in Penang is a sight to behold, with its famed architecture, magnificent sculptures, fascinating wall murals and religious Taoist symbols! Considered to be one of the greatest treasures of Penang, this Taoist temple has to be on your itinerary of places to visit in Malaysia and things to do in Penang!
Penang is famed for its colonial buildings, rich history and ancient temples, with the Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple being one of the most ancient and famous of all. If you’re looking for what to do in Penang or where to go in Penang, then this temple is the perfect place to start your tour of George Town! Armenian Street is one of the best streets in George Town with its quaint atmosphere, colonial-style buildings and antique shops, and the Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple is the jewel in its crown! What’s so amazing about this temple?
Let’s take a look as to why this ornate temple should be on your list of things to do in Penang!
The History of the Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple
A magnificent treasure in this gem of a city, the Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple was designed and built in the year 1845 by the Chinese from the province of Fujian who immigrated to Malaysia and settled in Penang. This temple is thus a reflection of the community spirit, traditions and rituals of these folks and is dedicated to one of their main deities, Tua Pek Kong.
After the Penang Riots of 1867, clan associations were banned by the British, which is when the Taoist society of Kean Teik Tong found itself occupying the clan temple as Poh Hock Seah. Today, Poh Hock Seah is another name for this beautiful temple.
Dedicated to the Taoist god of prosperity, the Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple was meant to provide a base for and to look after the interests of the Hokkien people in Penang. Also, because it is dedicated to Tua Pek Kong, this temple enjoys a status of honor and prestige unmatched by other temples in the George Town area.
One of the key reasons as to why this temple has to be on your list of places to visit in Malaysia is its gorgeous, unique architecture! Boasting beautiful roof figurines, a bungalow-style layout and intriguing ‘no nails’ bracket system for its tilting roof, the architecture of this ornate temple is enough to make any architect or art aficionado go ‘Wow’!
When you’re heading to the temple, don’t forget to check out the Kuan Kong figurine showcasing loyalty that is nestled on the roof. This temple is the only temple in the whole of Malaysia to boast this! The layout of the Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple is also something to marvel over, because it represents a style that almost didn’t exist in the early 1800s when it was built!
What to See
The Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple is a feast for the eyes, and boasts a deep russet lacquered finish, fascinating paintings, symbolic sculptures and multi-hued ceramic and stucco figurines. This temple is also home to a large number of priceless antiques and treasures which will blow your mind.
Also, the temple is set in such a way as to have different altars for the deities. Some of the main ones worth checking out within the temple are the Altar to Sin Long Siang Tay, the Tua Pek Kong Hall and the altar to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo.
How to Get to the Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple
It’s easy! All you need to do is head to Armenian Street and walk down until you reach the junction of Armenian Street and Cannon Street. The Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple is set to the left of the junction, with a small sign indicating the entrance of the temple through a small passage.
The Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple is very old and very carefully preserved. When visiting the temple, please maintain the standards and principles of responsible travel and respect the temple for its history, its value to the locals, its ancient architecture and marvelous detail. Let’s keep it like this for our future generations. Enjoy, don’t destroy.