Photo: Dude.

Sam Poh Footprint Temple

Our rating:

Tucked away in the southeastern corner of Penang, the tiny fishing village of Batu Maung is believed to be a site that larger-then-legend 13th century Chinese Muslim Admiral Cheng Ho (Zheng He) set foot upon Penang, and literally left a giant mark in the form of a king-sized footprint embedded in stone.

Travel better, travel smarter

Save money, receive our latest updates and get the most out of your travels.


Cheng Ho is worshiped as the folk deity Sam Poh Kong, and this small pretty seaside temple honours his presence. The temple is not nearly as ancient as the footprint is believed to be and was constructed in 1993 on the site of a former small shrine. An impressive tiled entrance archway frames a large bronze statue of the distinguished looking caped Admiral standing by the colourful traditional harbour.

Back in the day. Photo taken in or around Sam Poh Footprint Temple, Penang, Malaysia by Sally Arnold.

Back in the day. Photo: Sally Arnold

Here, a small ornamental garden with bubbling water feature and trees festooned with prayer ribbons is a pleasant serene spot to take a breather. The temple itself is a simple open-fronted structure covering the 85-centimetre “footprint” with a stature of Sam Poh Kong holding a Chinese gold ingot at the altar. A jetty leads from the temple garden directly to the small harbour, and local fishermen come to pray before setting off to sea.

Although the Chinese have commandeered the area, local Malays and Indians offer differing versions of the origins of the mark: Hindus believe that it was made by Hanuman, the monkey god from the Ramayana as he was leaping around the world and Malays call the area “Tapak Gedembai” and regard the footprint as one of four around Penang made by the giant Gedembai of local folklore.

Enjoy the fresh sea air. Photo taken in or around Sam Poh Footprint Temple, Penang, Malaysia by Sally Arnold.

Enjoy the fresh sea air. Photo: Sally Arnold

Unless you are a Cheng Ho (or Bigfoot) aficionado, it’s probably not worth the long trip from Georgetown at just see this temple, but is well worth popping by as an add-on to a visit to nearby Penang’s War Museum.

If you are travelling around Malaysia and the archipelago, both Melaka in Malaysia and Semarang in Java, Indonesia harbour interesting Sam Poh Kong temples ... Travelfish members only (Around 300 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

Don’t miss the boat!

Please subscribe to to read the rest of this article, or log in here.

Subscribing to Travelfish costs A$35 per year and it gets you access to more than 200 downloadable guides to specific destinations, fabulous discount coupons and 50% off our personalised travel planning service. Sign up here.


Sam Poh Footprint Temple
Jalan Bayan Lepas, Batu Maung

Location map for Sam Poh Footprint Temple

Popular attractions in Penang

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Penang.

Best places to stay in Penang

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Penang.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Penang.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Penang.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Penang.
 Read up on how to get to Penang.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Penang? Please read this.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.

Heading to Malaysia?
Heading to Malaysia?
Ad Search for cheap flights to Malaysia
on Skyscanner.

Read more

See below for more sights and activities in Penang that are listed on

Top of page

Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Penang? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Malaysia.

Top of page