This clan house is the pride of Penang.
In 2000, 4.2 million ringgit was spent on a restoration project and today it sits resplendent with its gold leaf and tile shard work. The original building was truly opulent and took some eight years to build. It was made from wood and just three weeks after completion in 1906 it burnt down. Superstitions abound that the clan house burned due to jealousy from the Gods as the house was too opulent, rivalling the temple and heaven.
The current building was built from the ashes in half the time but is still a marvel. The four granite columns at the entrance way symbolise each year of construction and are intricately carved.
Clan houses essentially looked after the members of an extended family, which included people from the same area as the members. Clans often had their own welfare programme, assisting the newly arrived, their own education and government systems, as well as social organisation. The clan house was surrounded on all sides by its residents' terraces and this denoted their territory too.
Khoo Kongsi can be a little difficult to find and you must weave around a number of small roads to get to the entrance, which is actually off Lebuh Cannon. The site is almost totally hidden and completely surrounded.