Cheah Yam established Cheah Kongsi in 1873. He was an immigrant from a small village in South of China, the Sek Tong village. Upon his passing, Ong Sin Neoh (his widow) took over the Management of the clan house. Ever since, their son Cheah Choo Yew and their descendants have served as the head or presidents of the Cheah Kongsi. The management office of the temple is located on-site.
The Cheah Kongsi is the first among five Hokkien clan houses in Penang. It is just located in a block right next to Khoo Kongsi. This building resembles the palaces and grand temples in China. However, the well-decorated building is the only clan house in Penang which has Malay, Straits Chinese as well as European design influences. The first thing visitors can see when they visit the clan house are columns crowned with British-influence ‘lion-head’ statues. It has a huge veranda with elaborate iron railings. The roof of Cheah Kongsi is decorated with detailed Chinese and Dutch porcelain as well as carvings of lions and dogs.
To go to Cheah Kongsi, one needs to pass through a small passageway off Lebuh Armenian. The front lawn of the temple is perfectly-manicured and is full of charm. It will lead visitors to the front door with black marble panels. The whole compound uniquely combines a distinct Chinese and a European two-storey courtyard arrangement. In the 1930s, the temple’s entryway was renovated and many more detailed carvings were added. Between 2003 and 2004, it went through another expansive restoration.
The Cheah Kongsi is different compared to other clan houses as it has smaller rooms to the left of the courtyard. The bigger rooms on the right are occupied for socializing, meetings and meals.
Image by Eric Lefevre-Ardant.
Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm.
Saturday: 9am – 1pm.
Hear From Others
Cheah Kongsi is located at Lebuh Armenian. I was suprised that we don’t need to pay any entrance fee here. I always admire the ancient chinese architecture and wonder if my ancestor home also look like this.