Chinese history lives in Malaysia at the many great temples located in and near Penang. The Penang Chinese temple locations are among the most impressive and best preserved anywhere, and you can see seven of them while staying at George Town Penang.

Several date back hundreds of years and have provided significant community services over the centuries. Many even predate the founding of historic George Town by English settlers in 1786.

The historic Chinese temples are among the oldest and most culturally significant in Malaysia.

See Seven Great Temples

You can visit seven great and historic Penang Chinese temples while staying in the George Town area of Penang Island. The temples mostly are centrally located and easily visited on foot, using public transportation or taking a taxi.

The temples originally served local Chinese communities, and several were built by Chinese immigrants centuries ago. The structures contain many great examples of skilled work by artisans and others who helped to build the historic temples.

Here is a brief look at the seven impressive Chinese temples.

Khoo Kongsi

The Khoo Kongsi temple in Penang is the most elaborate, ornate and impressive Chinese temple in Malaysia. The temple is located on Cannon Square in George Town, and is considered the most historic and culturally significant in Malaysia.

In addition to the historic temple, the historic site includes a Chinese theater, association building, and several row houses for clan members. It is located in the UNESCO World Heritage area in the oldest part of George Town.

Goddess of Mercy Temple Penang

Built in 1728, the Goddess of Mercy Temple in Penang is dedicated to the Taoist Goddess of Mercy Guanyin. Originally, the temple honored the sea goddess Mazu, but changed nearly 100 years later to honor the Goddess of Mercy.

The temple is the oldest Taoist Chinese temple in Penang and is located on Pitt Street in the central area of George Town. It once served as a kind of communal court during the 19th century, where a council settled disputes among the area’s growing Chinese population.

Yap Kongsi

The Yap Kongsi temple is one of the smallest in George Town and once served Hokkien Chinese settlers with the Yap surname. The temple is located on Armenian Street in Penang and is built in 1924, while utilizing the Straits Eclectic architectural style.

The temple was renovated in 1998 for nearly RM300,000. The Choo Chay Keong is situated next door and accepts visitors.

Cheah Kongsi

The 183-year-old Cheah Kongsi temple in Penang is one of the area’s oldest and most impressive Hokkien Chinese temples. Its architecture combines Malay, European and traditional Straits Chinese design elements, and resembles the ornate temples and palaces of Mainland China.

The Cheah Kongsi temple is located on Lebuh Armenian Street in Penang, and features a museum.

Kek Lok Si

The Kek Lok Si temple is the oldest Buddhist temple in Malaysia and among the largest and most ornate Chinese temples in Malaysia. The impressive temple was completed in 1930 after 40 years of construction and is located in the Air Itam area on Penang Island.

The temple faces the sea and features the seven-story Pagoda of Rama IV, and a 36.57-meter bronze statue of Goddess of Mercy Kuan Yin.

Kuan Yin Temple

Dedicated to Goddess of Mercy Kuan Yin, the Kuan Yin temple is the oldest in Penang. Cantonese and Hokkien Chinese immigrants completed the temple in 1728, which then served the local community.

Located on Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling in George Town, the temple contains classic Chinese architectural design elements, including ornate dragon carvings. The temple is among the most culturally significant for Malaysia’s Chinese citizens and visitors.

Snake Temple

The last temple mentioned is among the most unique anywhere.

The world-famous Snake Temple is a Buddhist temple filled with pit viper snakes said to have originated in the nearby Malaysian jungles. Veterinarians removed the snakes’ venom glands, but they have their fangs intact.

Although discouraged from doing so, some visitors enjoy handling the snakes and taking photos with them. Incense burns at all hours and fills the unique and iconic temple.

The Snake Temple was built in 1850 and is located in the Sungai Kluang district on Penang Island.


Plan Your Stay Today

The Penang Chinese temples are world-renowned for their stunning architecture and historic and cultural significance. They also are exceptionally popular among Chinese citizens in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong, among other locales.

That makes the Penang Chinese temples some of the world’s most culturally significant. They also are among the most impressive temples located outside of Mainland China.

The next time you book a hotel in Georgetown Penang, choose the luxurious and affordable Tune Hotel Georgetown Penang. The hotel conveniently is located among the many great Penang Chinese temple locations in and near George Town.

You can start booking your next trip to see the iconic Chinese temples of Penang by visiting the Tune Hotel Georgetown Penang website at

You can look up special offers and book group rates that give you significant discounts and make your vacation more fun and affordable.