Khoo Kongsi

Sights Type / Museums & galleries
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Khoo Kongsi
Location

Penang, Malaysia

Address

18 Cannon Square, 10200 Penang, Malaysia.

Getting there

Access: Rapid Penang Bus Route No: U301 / U302 / U303 / U307 / U401

Telephone

+604-261 4609

Email

info@khookongsi.com.my

Fax

+604-262 2591

More information

http://www.khookongsi.com.my/, https://www.facebook.com/KhooKongsi, https://foursquare.com/v/leong-san-tong-khoo-kongsi

Prices

Adults: RM 10/pax

Children (under 12yrs old): RM 1/pax

Children (under 5yrs old): FREE

* Prices include GST.

Opening hours

Mon - Sun: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

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The Khoo Kongsi (Chinese: 邱公司; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Khu-kong-si) is a large Chinese clanhouse with elaborate and highly ornamented architecture, a mark of the dominant presence of the Chinese in Penang, Malaysia. The famous Khoo Kongsi is the grandest clan temple in the country. It is also one of the city's major historic attractions. The clan temple has retained its authentic historic setting, which includes an association building, a traditional theatre and the late 19th century rowhouses for clan members, all clustered around a granite-paved square. It is located in Cannon Square in the heart of the oldest part of the city of George Town, in the midst of narrow, winding lanes and quaint-looking pre-War houses exuding a palpable old world charm.

History

The Khoo Kongsi is a clan association of the Leong San Tong (Dragon Mountain Hall) clan, whose forefathers came from Sin Kang clan village (now known as Xiangcheng) in Hokkien province. The Khoos were among the wealthy Straits Chinese traders of 17th century Malacca and early Penang. In the 19th century, the clan complex resembled a miniature clan village, with its own self-government as well as educational, financial, welfare and social organisations. The clan temple was built in 1906 when the Khoo clan was at the height of wealth and eminence in Penang society.

The forefathers of the Khoo family who emigrated from South China built it as a clanhouse for members of the Khoo family in 1851. It was burnt down in 1894, allegedly struck by lightning, and the Chinese believed that it was due to its resemblance to the Emperor's palace, which provoked the gods. A scaled-down version was later built in 1902 and completed in 1906. Even so, the complex boasts a magnificent hall embellished with intricate carvings and richly ornamented beams of the finest wood bearing the mark of master craftsmen from China. The clan temple is dedicated to the clan's patron deities and also houses a collection of ancestral tablets. Chinese operas are still staged at the theatre during the seventh lunar month.

Like many such clan associations in South East Asia, Khoo Kongsi is no longer the center of important social activities and functions that it once held. Different strategies and ideas are being implemented to redefine the place of clan associations in the 21st century. Due to its location in the UNESCO World Heritage area of George Town, it is a popular attraction for tourists interested in local culture.

Other Clans

Khoo Kongsi remains till this day an impressive architectural feat that exemplifies good luck and prosperity. The other big clans during the time of its inception were the Cheah, Yeoh, Lim and Tan families who also have clan houses erected to act as a central point of their respective communities. However none were as magnificent as the Leong San Tong (Khoo Kongsi) which was said to be the most impressive in Southeast Asia.

Penang Khoo Kongsi Design

At the height of the Khoo family’s prominence, craftsmen from China were commissioned to build this architectural masterpiece. Also known as Dragon Mountain Hall, Khoo Kongsi is an ornate structure standing on a square of granite with stone carvings that adorn the entrance hall. 

Additionally, there are pavilions, murals portraying birthdays, weddings and 36 divine guardian-statues sprinkled throughout its interior. Meanwhile, massive overhead paper lamps bathe the interior in an orange glow and stunning ceramic sculptures of immortals, carp fish and dragons line the roof ridges.

How to get there

The temple can not be seen from the street.

To find the entrance - Walk along (Lebuh) Cannon Street towards the Acheen Street Mosque, which you can see at the end of the road.

You will find the entrance to the Temple compound on your left.

Reviews by visitors

A fascinating temple compound, with rows of shophouses were the clan members lived. Lots of intricate architectural details, a little museum on the ground floor. The movie "The Kind and I " was shot here.
~ gertie

Little bit hard to find. Visit after a recommendation and no regrets. Realy nice place to go and learn something about the history.
~ michal

We didn't know what to expect, but this clan house ended up being one of our favorite places to visit on Penang. You don't get a guided tour, but if you go to the bottom floor of the clan house you can read all about it. The architecture is amazing, the stone sculpture and paintings and icons are breathtaking. Take the time to find this place, it's on all the maps. You will not be disappointed.
~ livinonanisland

Lovely old buildings with intricate detailing. Interesting learning the history - how this was a kind of community centre for new migrants from China.
~ wand

This temple and its grounds are wonderfully lit n certain Saturday evenings part of the year.

There was a lion dance or two and a cute and energetic acrobats show which entertained children and adults alike.

This place takes on a magical beauty after dark. Be sure to check Penang gov tourist sites before going because this is a special seasonal event.

If you have kids, be sure to bring them. Friendly, festive atmosphere.
~ marian

A must see when visiting Penang. Ornate carvings and rich historical artefacts.
~ nickkslee

Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi or better known as Khoo Kongsi is one of the most distinctive Chine clan association in Malaysia. It is open everyday including Sundays and public holidays. Khoo Kongsi, all together with Cheah, Yeoh, Lim and Tan Kongsi, also known as the Five Big Clans (Goh Tai Seh) that formed the backbone of the Hokkien community in early Penang.
~ ldesierra

This place you must visit at Night, the structure is amazing, it have some many fine details. You cant see it from the main road so don't try finding it while you drive by or ride by. You must know your area , park then walk to find it by asking the locals or using your GPS or not you sure get lost . This place is hidden inside a shop lot maze.
~ sooria

For anyone wanting to see a temple in Penang, you have to stop by Khoo Kongsi. The architecture is ornate and really something spectacular. There are also rather detailed explanations of different artworks, which I really enjoyed. The upstairs section is the main part of the temple and downstairs is a museum which talks about the history of the Khoo family and the temple. Khoo Kongsi is perfect for history buffs, or for people who just want a little bit of history.
~ louise

A lot of figure's & craftsmanship to look at. There is a small museum downstairs with the history of the temple of Chinese origin's. Worth a look & you can take photo's as well.
~ brent

Khoo Kongsi was a very cool place to visit. Stories of Khoo family were told while walking pass through this Kongsi. Great architecture.
~ thenayzer

You must go here if you go to Georgetown. IT's hard to find but I had a very nice ice cream shop owner who sold me the ticket and then walked me to the place. It's absolutely stunning and so insightful to see how the clans were incredibly significant at that time. Despite being a Chinese clan house, you can also see the multi-cultural aspect of Malaysia when you note that some of the statues on the top are Indian. 
~ shreelekha

We just had a day trip to Penang as part of a cruise and we made a point of visiting this beautiful Clan house, it really is worth visiting, we walked there from the area where the cruise ship docked and it took about 30 mins, even though it was hot I would not have missed this for the World, go there if you can!
~ gloria

It's a beautiful temple with lots of great detail. The museum below is very good to get some quick insight into its history.
~ emilia

Without a doubt, the pinnacle of Penang. I'm not usually blown away by temples, buildings and architecture. But this clanhouse blew me away with its magnificent beauty. There are many pictures online showcasing its beauty, and yet its more astonishing when its right in front of you. Whats best about this, is that building retains its authentic historic architecture & design. Simply stunning. If only houses and temples were still built like this today.
~ kaveesh

The building is an architectural treasure that showcased the straits chinese heritage at its finest. A must visit location in Penang.
~ ivan

This place is one of those rare gems that came back from the brink. Thoughtfully put back but unchanged so that future generations get a glimpse of the past. It is in an area steeped in traditional past. Come take a look and be refreshed by an old charm.
~ dahlia

You can see more Penang travel guide at here.


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