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“Stunning! Well worth a visit”
Review of Khoo Kongsi

Khoo Kongsi
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$37.50*
and up
Penang Highlights by Trishaw from George Town
Ranked #9 of 115 things to do in George Town
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed September 2, 2013

There are so many historic sites to savour in Gerogetown but this one is the most impressive. The carvings and tiled decorations on the roof are simply amazing. I haven't seen artwork so intricate and detailed since visiting Angkor Wat. A photographer's dream. You don't have to spend hours there but for the 10 MYR, it's well worth a look.

2  Thank UnholyTrinity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"clan house"
in 181 reviews
"khoo family"
in 52 reviews
"chinese clan"
in 31 reviews
"intricate carvings"
in 23 reviews
"clan members"
in 16 reviews
"chinese architecture"
in 21 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 63 reviews
"beautiful temple"
in 39 reviews
"small museum"
in 37 reviews
"great architecture"
in 12 reviews
"ancestral hall"
in 12 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 56 reviews
"cannon street"
in 21 reviews
"heritage site"
in 12 reviews
"the ground floor"
in 19 reviews
"chinese new year"
in 13 reviews
"armenian street"
in 24 reviews
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1,018 - 1,022 of 1,633 reviews

Reviewed August 30, 2013

Learning something about the history and culture of the area we are visiting is something my husband and I find very important. This is why Khoo Kongsi, a grand temple along Lebuh Cannon, was right at the top of our list of things to do in George Town. It was built to serve as a clan house for the Khoo family for two centuries. This compound has a meeting hall, opera stage (During the seventh lunar month, the temple comes alive with Chinese opera performances), shops, educational facilities, and a temple.
The Khoo Kongsi is considered to be the most magnificent clan house in the area. It is open for a small fee (RM10 / $3) to anyone wishing to enjoy the beauty of the house and to get an idea of what daily life during George Town's early days. The walls, pillars and roof have many decorative and intricate carvings. It is a photographer’s delight to capture images of the exterior of this historic clan house.
Since almost half of Penang Island is Chinese, this clan house is very important to George Town. Though there were interpretative signs everywhere, a local guide may be a good idea to fully appreciate this beautiful Kongsi. It is definitely worth visiting.

Thank MagyarNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2013

A Kongsi is a clan house for Chinese of the same clan or surname. Clan houses were established as a place where the clan members could gather together to honour their ancestors and to look after the welfare of their clan members.
The Khoo Kongsi is a tucked away, almost hidden. It is a beautiful building in its own right, but if visited with a guide becomes so much more. Originally it was built in 1890s but burned down and was rebuilt in 1905. The temple roof line is in pagoda style and very ornately carved and richly decorated.
The Temple has a courtyard, in the courtyard are two lions, our guide explained that the one on the left hand side was a male, not sure how you tell but I believed him....
Under the handrail of the stairs that lead up to the porch of the temple, is a coin that is touched for good luck.
The porch is very ornate, with lots of gold leaf, very fine painting across the roof beams and intricate wall carvings. The lanterns hanging from the ceiling are very colourful.
To the left hand side of the Temple is an Ancestral Temple. This honours their ancestors and houses the names of people from the clan with plaques showing their achievements.
The Main Temple has some very fine artwork which has been recently restored. You may notice that a portion of the artwork near the ceiling line to the left hand side of the hall has been damaged. This came about when a cleaning venture to remove the build up of soot and resins was undertaken with disastrous results; from there a team of restoration specialist were engaged at significant cost. The outcome of the restoration is the fine artwork we now see.
Behind the main shrine in the main hall are a series of paintings depicting moral stories.
The basement to the right hand side of the Temple houses the museum. The museum is a compact view of clan life and the importance of clan genealogy. Genealogy has a twofold purpose, one is to keep track of the clan members, thereby honouring their ancestors, and the other purpose is to follow a clan member’s achievements.
I found this a very interesting part of Penang’s history.

Thank 35yrdream
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2013

An insight to communal living in the old days. Nothing much to see inside. Just some pictures, halls, murals, etc. a small museum. Just visit once.

Thank world73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 19, 2013

khoo kongsi is definitely one of the treasures of penang. the buildings itself is impressive, but it would be pointless if you didn't get someone to explain some the history, symbolism and stories behind it.

there is a lot to learn about the Chinese Peranakans, and this is a good place to start. Once you're done, go around the corner and visit Jawi House Cafe & Gallery, fronted by a famous academic, who can then explain about the Jawi Peranakans, giving you a good idea of the complex melting pot that is Penang.

Thank Little_Penang_Boy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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