Timothy Tye
Yap Kongsi


Yap Kongsi (13 February 2005)


Yap Kongsi at 71 Armenian Street, 10200 Penang, is the clan association of Hokkien Chinese in Penang of the Yap surname. The association building is known as Lum Yeong Tong. It is located next to the Yap Temple within the George Town Heritage Enclave and the core zone of the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Yap clan traces its origin to 439 BC, when warrior Shen Zhu Liang defeated the troops of the Qin Dynasty, and helped place the Chu Dynasty back into power. In return, Shen was awarded a title, the hand of a princess to marry, and given a piece of land which was called the Yap district. Shen took on the Yap surname, and from there, the Yap clan was born.

Ancestral altar at Yap Kongsi (13 February 2005)


In Penang, there were originally two Yap clan associations. The Tong Eng Siah Kongsi was founded in the late 19th century while the Hooi Teik Choon Ong Yap Kongsi was founded in the early 1910's. These two associations merged to form the Lum Yeong Tong Yap Kongsi, which moved its premises to Armenian Street when the clan association building, built in the Straits Eclectic style, was completed in 1924. The 10,056 sq ft piece of land on which Yap Kongsi stands was donated by local tycoon Yeap Chor Ee, who was also a Yan clansman.

Next to Yap Kongsi is the Choo Chay Keong Temple, which houses the altar to the Yap patron deity, Hoay Che Chun Wang. Yap Kongsi underwent a restoration in 1998 at a cost of close to RM300,000.

Door gods at the front entrance of Yap Kongsi (13 February 2005)

Getting there

If you are walking from the Weld Quay Ferry & Bus Terminal, refer to Google map on this page. From the bus terminal, cross Pengkalan Weld using the pedestrian bridge. Turn left and walk along Pengkalan Weld until the junction of Gat Lebuh Chulia. Turn right into Gat Lebuh Chulia. At the junction of Lebuh Pantai, Gat Lebuh Chulia becomes Lebuh Chulia. Continue along Lebuh Chulia until the junction of Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. Turn left and walk along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling until the junction of Lebuh Armenian. Turn right, and Yap Kongsi is on the left side of Lebuh Armenian, next to Choo Chay Keong Temple on its left.

Yap Kongsi can also be reached by taking the Rapid Penang Bus 10, 103, 301, 302, 401, U502, disembarking at Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. Check the Rapid Penang Bus Routes for details. From Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling bus stop, walk in the southwards. You will see Yap Kongsi at the junction of Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and Lebuh Armenian, to the right.

What to see and do

Admire the exterior of Yap Kongsi, which was built in the Straits Eclectic style. If the front door is open, you can go in. On the reverse side of the door are beautifully painted door gods.

Nearby Sights

The following sights are reference against the main entrance of Yap Kongsi.
  1. Yap Temple: Coming out from Yap Kongsi, Choo Chay Keong Temple is immediately on the right.
  2. Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple: Coming out from Yap Kongsi, turn right and walk along Lebuh Armenian. After crossing the junction with Medan Cannon, you reach the entrance archway to Hock Teik Cheng Sin on your right.
  3. Cheah Kongsi: Coming out from Yap Kongsi, turn right and walk along Lebuh Armenian. After crossing the junction with Medan Cannon, continue a short distance, past Lorong Soo Hong on your left, and you will reach the entrance archway to Cheah Kongsi on the left.
  4. Khoo Kongsi (Leong San Tong): Coming out from Yap Kongsi, turn right and walk along Lebuh Armenian. After crossing the junction with Medan Cannon, turn right into Medan Cannon. The entrance archway to Khoo Kongsi is on your left, a short distance down Medan Cannon.
  5. Acheen Street Mosque: Coming out from Yap Kongsi, turn right and walk along Lebuh Armenian. After crossing the junction with Medan Cannon, turn right into Medan Cannon. The Acheen Street Mosque is at Lebuh Acheh, across the junction of Medan Cannon and Lebuh Acheh.
  6. Dr Sun Yat Sen's Penang Base: Coming out from Yap Kongsi, turn left and walk along Lebuh Armenian. The street curves to the left. Dr Sun Yat Sen's Penang Base is at 120 Lebuh Armenian, on the right.
  7. Penang Islamic Museum: Coming out from Yap Kongsi, turn left and walk along Lebuh Armenian. The street curves to the left. The Penang Islamic Museum is at the right side of Lebuh Armenian, at the junction with Lebuh Acheh.

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