Timothy Tye
Hainan Temple (Thean Hou Kong 天后宫)

Thean Hou Keong TempleThean Hou Keong Temple (15 December, 2012)
© Timothy Tye (CY)

The Hainan Temple (GPS: 5.42009, 100.33462) is a Chinese temple dedicated to the patron deity of seafarers, Ma Chor Po, also called Mazu. Also called Thean Hou Kong (Traditional/Simplified Chinese: 天后宫), is similar to Thian Hock Keng Temple in Singapore.

The Hainan Temple was founded in 1866. The building that we see today was completed in 1895. The Hainan Temple is built in the Hainanese style, and is ornately embellished with exquisite stone carvings executed in the Sung dynasty style. The stonework that we see today is the work of craftsmen from China who were employed to remodel the temple in 1995, in conjunction with the centenary of its completion.

360° View of the Hainan Temple on Google Maps Street View

Arriving from the island of Hainan in southern China, the Hainanese pay homage to their patron deity Ma Chor Po with this temple. The majority of them became cooks and are famous Hainanese chicken rice. Some of the famous Chinese restaurants of the early 20th century were opened by the Hainanese, including the Loke Thye Kee and Wing Loke.

Hainan Temple interiorHainan Temple interior (15 December, 2012)
© Timothy Tye (CY)

The Hainanese also formed a clan association, the Kheng Chew Hoay Kuan, which they named after their mother village. The association started the Aik Hua School, today known as SRJK (C) Aik Hua. The present school building was constructed in 1955 and is located to the right of the Hainan Temple. In addition, the association also helped to establish a hospital and set up a scholarship for the Hainanese community.

The Kheng Chew Hoay Kuan was renamed Hainan Clan Association in 1991. This led to the setting up of a restoration committee that oversaw the restoration work on the Hainan Temple completed in 1995.

Hainan Temple main prayer hallHainan Temple main prayer hall (15 December, 2012)
© Timothy Tye (CY)


Hainan Temple
93 Muntri Street
10200 George Town, Penang
Phone: +60 4 262 0202

Getting to Hainan Temple

From the Weld Quay Ferry & Bus Terminal, take Rapid Penang Nos. 10 and 103 and disembark in front of Cititel. From Penang Road, enter Lebuh Muntri, pass Lebuh Leith, and you will arrive at the Hainan Temple, which is on your right.

Nearby Sights

  1. Goldsmith Association: From Hainan Temple, turn right, walk a short distance, and the Goldsmith Association is on your right along Lebuh Muntri.
  2. Kuan Yin Teng: From Hainan Temple, turn right, walk down Lebuh Muntri. Pass junction with Love Lane, enter Lorong Stewart, go to the end, follow the lane as it make a right turn followed by a left turn. Kuan Yin Teng is on your left.
  3. Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion: From Hainan Temple, turn left, walk up Lebuh Muntri. At Lebuh Leith junction, turn right and walk to the end. Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is on the left near junction of Lebuh Farquhar.

Facade of Hainan Temple (25 June 2005)

Exquisite stone carvings at Hainan Temple (25 June 2005)

Exquisite stone carvings at Hainan Temple (25 June 2005)

The Hainan Temple is on the map of Muntri Street

List of Clan Temples in Penang, Chinese Temples in Penang and Chinese Temples in Malaysia

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