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Khoo Kongsi house

Khoo is the family name. Kongsi means clan (family) house. This clan house of the Khoo family reminds us of the very first period when the Chinese came to Penang. The Khoo family that built this Kongsi came originally from Sin Kang village in the Hokkien province of China. They actually began migrating overseas in the 16th century. They came to Penang sometime in the late 18th century. By 1835 the numbers was large enough that they formed a clan group and purchased the land and started building the first Kongsi.

Khoo is the family name. Kongsi means clan (family) house. This clan house of the Khoo family reminds us of the very first period when the Chinese came to Penang. The Khoo family that built this Kongsi came originally from Sin Kang village in the Hokkien province of China. They actually began migrating overseas in the 16th century. They came to Penang sometime in the late 18th century. By 1835 the numbers was large enough that they formed a clan group and purchased the land and started building the first Kongsi.

The Khoos were among the wealthy Straits Chinese traders of 17th century in Malacca and early Penang. The idea of a temple was first mooted in 1836 and was completed 8 years later. The Leong San Tong of the Khoo Kongsi on the Cannon Square is the most picturesque clan-temple in Malaysia. The richly ornamented carvings of the roofs, walls and pillars reflect the art and architecture of ancient China and were made of the finest wood. It was built as a clan-house for people with the same surname. In the 19th century, the clan complex resembled a miniature clan village, with its own self-government as well as educational, financial, welfare and social organizations. It burnt down in 1894 and some believed it was due of its resemblance to the Emperor’s palace. A reduced version was later built in 1902 which features a magnificent hall embellished with intricate carvings and richly ornamented beams of finest wood bearing the mark of master craftsmen from China.

I’ve been there once with other Lomographers. It is just another outing up west to Penang from Kuala Lumpur to attend a Lomo exhibition. Solomo (one of the exhibitor) brought us to the Khoo Kongsi since it is a well known place for tourists. It has been a place where all the Khoo clan used to stay together at the same place, but it serves as a museum for tourists now. Khoo Kongsi takes up a massive land in that area. There are houses, stage, temple and wall all around the Khoo Kongsi. There’s a tour-guide in the museum to show you around the place and explain every detail. A really special place I should say. If possible, I would like to return for another visit again … just to take more picture of it!

Opening Hours : Daily, including Sundays and Public Holidays: 9AM to 5PM

http://www.khookongsi.com.my

written by lomography

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