Ethnic and religious architecture in George Town (World Heritage Site), Penang Island

Penang religious architecture featured image


I traveled to Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Penang) and Brunei for a week, while I attended my Malaysian friend’s wedding at Kuala Lumpur. In this article, I will write about ethnic and religious architecture in George Town (World Heritage Site), Penang Island, as part of Day 4.

[Visit Places (series of articles)]
* Day 1 (1) Flying to Kuala Lumpur (Related article)
* Day 1 (2) Night view of Petronas Twin Towers (Related article)
* Day 2 (1) Petronas Twin Towers and Suria KLCC (Related article)
* Day 2 (2) Aquaria KLCC (Related article)
* Day 2 (3) Bukit Bintang (Related article)
* Day 3 (1) Colonial architecture in Penang (Related article)
* Day 3 (2) Pinang Peranakan Mansion and Eastern & Oriental Hotel (Related article)
* Day 3 (3) Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (Blue Mansion) (Related article)
* Day 4 (1) Ethnic architecture in Penang (This article)
* Day 4 (2) Art works in Penang (Related article)
* Day 5 (1) Masjid Negara and Islamic Arts Museum (Related article)
* Day 5 (2) Chinatown (Related article)
* Day 6 (1) Royal Regalia (Related article)
* Day 6 (2) Old Mosque (Related article)
* Day 7 (1) Water Village, New Mosque and Gadong area (Related article)
* Day 7 (2) Empire Hotel (Related article)
(Day 1, 2, 5, 6: Kuala Lumpur, Day 3, 4: Penang, Day 6, 7: Brunei)

[Travel Dates]
2015.9.22 – 29

NOTE: as the blog title suggests, I mainly write about my travel around Japan, but I will write about my overseas travel in this series.

[Main Part]

Harmony Street

Penang Harmony Street

While there are lots of colonial architectures in the seaside area in George Town, there are lots of ethnic architectures in the inland area in George Town. In particular, since many ethnic temples such as China, Islam and Hindu are built and lined harmoniously along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, the street is called “the Harmony Street”. So, I went around several temples along the Harmony Street.

Khoo Kongsi

Khoo Kongsi was built in 1906 by the Khoo family who immigrated from Fujian, China. Many materials and people were sent to Penang to build the temple and it is said to be the most gorgeous Chinese temple.

Exterior of the temple. The cloud was impressive.Penang Khoo Kongsi1

Penang Khoo Kongsi2

Penang Khoo Kongsi3

Penang Khoo Kongsi4

Interior of the temple.Penang Khoo Kongsi5

Penang Khoo Kongsi6

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Penang Khoo Kongsi8

Penang Khoo Kongsi9

View from the main hall.Penang Khoo Kongsi10

Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh

Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh was built in 1808 by Arab merchants who immigrated from Acheh in Sumatra island. The descendants have lived near the mosque. An octagon-shaped minaret is the symbol of the mosque.Penang Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh1

Penang Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh2

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Penang Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh4

Sun Yat Sen Museum

Sun Yat Sen Museum is museum built in 1910. The museum is dedicated to Sun Yat-sen, a nationalist from China who established the Chinese Republic in 1912 after his efforts in Xinhai Revolution. Penang Sun Yat Sen Museum1

Penang Sun Yat Sen Museum2

Penang Sun Yat Sen Museum3

Yap Kongsi

Yap Kongsi is a Taoist temple built by the Yap family in 1924. Just like the Khoo family, the Yap family was immigrants fromFujian, China. The Yap family succeeded in trade and became the richest family in Penang.Penang Yap Kongsi1

Penang Yap Kongsi2

Masjid Kapitan Keling

Masjid Kapitan Keling is a South Indian mosque built in 1801. “Kapitan” means a leader and “Kapitan Keling” is the honorific title of Cauder Mohuddeen Merican, the founder of the mosque.Penang Masjid Kapitan Keling1

Penang Masjid Kapitan Keling2

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Penang Masjid Kapitan Keling5

Teochew Temple

Teochew Temple is a Chinese temple built in 1870 by those who came from Chaozhou, China. The temple used to own a school and served as an educational institution.Penang Teochew Temple1

Penang Teochew Temple2

Penang Teochew Temple3

Maha Mariamman Temple

Maha Mariamman Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Penang built in 1833 by settlers from India. Unfortunately, the temple was under construction and I was not able to see it.Penang Maha Mariamman Temple

Kuan Ying Teng

The final destination was Kuan Ying Teng. Kuan Ying Teng is the oldest Chinese temple in Penang built around 1800. On the contrary to Khoo Kongsi in whcih most of the visitors were tourists, I saw many local Chinese people visit Kuan Ying Teng.Penang Kuan Ying Teng1

Penang Kuan Ying Teng2

Penang Kuan Ying Teng3

Penang Kuan Ying Teng4

Penang Kuan Ying Teng5


That’s it for the article about ethnic and religious architecture in George Town (World Heritage Site), Penang Island. In George Town, Chinese temples, Islam temples and Hindu temples are lined around the Harmony street and churches are lined around the seaside area, which represents the characteristics of Malaysia, as a multiethnic country 🙂

On this day, while I went around ethnic architecture, I also looked around street arts in George Town. I will write about it in the next article.

[Related Link]
Tourism Malaysia (Penang)
Welcome to VisitPenang
Tourism Penang
Khoo Kongsi
Sun Yat Sen Museum

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