Penang Khoo Kongsi

Georgetown Attractions

Khoo Kongsi is one of Georgetown’s most interesting attractions. Built some 650 years ago, it is part of the goh tai seh (five big clans) that formed the backbone of the Hokkien community in olden-days Penang. One of Penang’s most lavishly decorated kongsis, it is located on Jalan Acheh, off Lebuh Pitt.

A kongsi (clan house) is a building in which Chinese families of the same surname gather to worship their ancestors. Representing a family’s social and spiritual commitments between extended relations, ancestors and the outside community, the kongsi also acts as an important means of solidarity. These days the primary functions of kongsis are supportive roles: they help with the educations of members’ children, settle disputes and advance loans.

Penang Khoo Kongsi History

The kongsis were initially developed as a way for 19th-century immigrants to band together according to their respective districts. Unsurprisingly, as a result of this clan-centric bias, hostile sentiments developed between the different clan houses resulting in rivalry and eventually violence.

Many of the kongsis in Penang are more than 100 years old; the Khoo Kongsi, once known as one of the most prominent Chinese lineages in Malaysia, is probably the most famous clan house in Penang. Founded by the Leong San Tong clan from the Sin Kang clan village in Hokkien Province, the clan house was built primarily to showcase the success of the Khoo family.


Other Clans

Khoo Kongsi remains till this day an impressive architectural feat that exemplifies good luck and prosperity. The other big clans during the time of its inception were the Cheah, Yeoh, Lim and Tan families who also have clan houses erected to act as a central point of their respective communities. However none were as magnificent as the Leong San Tong (Khoo Kongsi) which was said to be the most impressive in Southeast Asia.

Penang Khoo Kongsi Design

At the height of the Khoo family’s prominence, craftsmen from China were commissioned to build this architectural masterpiece. Also known as Dragon Mountain Hall, Khoo Kongsi is an ornate structure standing on a square of granite with stone carvings that adorn the entrance hall.

Additionally, there are pavilions, murals portraying birthdays, weddings and 36 divine guardian-statues sprinkled throughout its interior. Meanwhile, massive overhead paper lamps bathe the interior in an orange glow and stunning ceramic sculptures of immortals, carp fish and dragons line the roof ridges.

Penang Khoo Kongsi

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:00
Address: 18 Cannon Square, Georgetown
Tel: +604 261 4609


Related Tours

Penang Half-Day Tour Penang Half-Day Tour

The Penang Half-Day Tour is short trip that brings you and you family to discover the main attractions of Penang. Overall, a good way to get a blast of Penang if you're short on time. Read More...

Related Pages

Hainanese Mariners’ Lodge Hainanese Mariners’ Lodge

Hainanese Mariners’ Lodge was established in pre-WW II days when 49 roving Hainanese sailors pooled their resources to set up a common lodge. Read More...

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

The house is open for visitors to learn more about Cheong's history through antiques and paraphernalia displayed in the building. Read More...

IN : Loading...  

Send us your feedback

Help us keep this website up-to-date by sending us your comments and suggestions. If your question is about a hotel please use this link - For TOUR questions and enquiries please use this link

Hotel Quick Finder

Check In:
Check Out:
Penang Attractions
Penang Hotels Tours Maps Photos Forum
Download our Free {place} Guide

Asia Web Direct Travel Club members have access to our free travel guides, and lots of other travel specials and benefits from the Asia Travel Specialists.

Please enter your details and we'll send your free {place} Travel Guide to you straight away. We will also add you to our free Asia Web Direct Travel Club Newsletter.

All fields are required.

We will not pass your details on to any other company or individual. We take your privacy seriously!

in Loading... out