Penang Heritage Tip :: Khoo Kongsi

Location: Cannon Square

Admission: RM5 (Free for members from Khoo clan)

Opening Hours: 9.00 am to 5 pm daily

The Khoo Kongsi is in Cannon Square close to the end of Lebuh Pitt. Khoo Kongsi is a clan house, a building which is partly a temple and partly a meeting hall for Chinese of the same clan or surname. Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, or Khoo Kongsi for short, is one of the most distinctive Chinese clan associations in Malaysia. It is well known worldwide for its extensive lineage that can be traced back 650 years, as well as its closely-knit and defensive congregation of buildings and a magnificent clanhouse.

Penang has many kongsis, but this one, the clan house of the Khoos, is far the finest. Its construction was first considered around 1853, but it was not built until 1898. The complete building was so magnificent and elaborate that nobody was surprised when the roof caught fire on the very night it was completed. That misfortunate was simply interpreted as a message from the heaven that they’d really been overdoing things, so the Khoos rebuilt it in a marginally less grandiose style.

The present kongsi, dating back from 1906 and extensively renovated in the 1950s, is also known as the “Dragon Mountain Hall”. It is a colorful mix of dragons, statues, paintings, lamps, coloured tiles and carvings, and is one part of Penang which definitely shall not be missed.

Getting There

You can walk to Boon San Tong Kongsi from Weld Quay Bus Terminal, a distance of 430 meters (1400 ft). Cross Pengkalan Weld using the pedestrian bridge, then turn left, walk along Pengkalan Weld until junction of Gat Lebuh Chulia, then turn right. Walk a short distance along Gat Lebuh Chulia until junction of Lebuh Victoria, then turn left. Walk along Lebuh Victoria until you reach Boon San Tong on your right, about 250 meters from the junction.

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GPS Coordinates: 5°24’51.44″N, 100°20’14.33″E Geotag Icon Show on map