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Cheah Kongsi

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The Cheah Kongsi, or formerly the tongue-twisting, Sek Tong Cheah Si Seh Tek Tong Hock Haw Kong Kongsi, is one of the oldest Hokkien clan associations in Penang, established in 1810 by immigrants from China’s Fujian Province.

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As with all of Penang’s Kongsi, the clan house serves as both an ancestral temple and community club for descents of the Cheah clan who came to seek their fortunes in Penang. The original narrow portal on Lebuh Armenian is squeezed between shophouses and crowded out by selfie-stick wielding tourists photographing the nearby “kids on a bike” street art (actually painted on the outer walls of the Kongsi), but is still worth seeking out to admire the intricately carved and painted gateway.

Impressive entrance. Photo taken in or around Cheah Kongsi, Penang, Malaysia by Sally Arnold.

Impressive entrance. Photo: Sally Arnold

A major renovation completed in 2015 moved the main access to its more prominent current location on Lebuh Pantai (Beach Street). The new entrance somehow has a very colonial British feel to it with lofty iron gates, topiaried trees and a wide manicured lawn that could quite happily entertain a round of cricket, perhaps a nod to the early Straits Chinese loyalty to the ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)

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