Malaysia’s oldest Chinese temple
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple (Temple of the Bright Clouds) is Malaysia’s oldest Chinese temple, dating from 1646.
The Hokkien-style architecture is embellished with a riot of chien nien ceramic cut-and-paste shardwork, frescoes, lacquer- and gilt-work and decorative carvings of mythological creatures, making it one of Chinatown’s most impressive buildings.
The original enhancements were made by immigrants from the southern Chinese provinces of Fujian and Guangdong and impeccable restoration work completed in 2000 earned it a UNESCO award. If you are interested in the restoration, it’s well documented on the temple’s website.
The temple embraces the philosophy of “San Jiao” or the three teachings of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. The central altar is dedicated to Guanyin, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, represented here in white jade, robed in yellow, and to her left, Goddess Mazu (Ma Cho Poh), guardian of fishermen and seafarers. On the right altar are the gods of wellbeing, justice and loyalty.
This busy temple functions not only as a place of worship, but plays an integral part in the civil life of Melaka’s Chinese community. Thick with incense smoke, vibrant Cheng Hoon Teng Temple can get hectic with worshippers and tourists inside and venders outside, adding to the colour. Take your time as you wander around the courtyard to admire the splendid detail. A printed booklet on the history of the temple is available for three ringgit. Daily prayers are conducted at 16:00.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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