Saturday, July 5, 2008

Borneo Break: Tua Pek Kong Temple

If you do not fancy walking around town, mingling with the locals and trying out the local cuisine, there probably would be nothing else to do in Sibu except to visit the Tua Pek Kong Temple. Tua Pek Kong is a Taoist deity of prosperity, a sort of deva I supposed; said to be revered by the Chinese Hokkien community. The deity is often seen dressed in robes and wields a Ru Yi and gold ingots which are symbols of good fortune and prosperity. There are several stories n the origin of the Tua Pek Kong. The version given by the temple in Sibu is that Tua Pek Kong is actually the deity of the earth. He used to be a devoted Taoist called Fu Teck who lived during the Chou dynasty in China. A learned man who taught the merits of filial piety, Fu Teck was said to have passed away in 1236 BC when he was 102 years old and three days after his death, his facial expression remained unchanged and people started to believe that he had mystical powers and a temple in the form of a hut, was erected in honour of him. The Tua Pek Kong Temple in Sibu reportedly was built by a group of Hokkiens from Guangdong Province in China in the early 1870s. It started off as a wooden building in 1871and started to gain typical Chinese features like a tiled roof in 1897. A fire razed Sibu town in 1928 but the temple survived unsheathed. During the Japanese Occupation however, the temple was destroyed but the statue of Tua Pek Kong which was specially sculptured and imported from Xiamen, China survived. Today, the temple boasts of a beautiful Pagoda and there are Chinese-styled pavilions where one could sit and enjoy the view of Rajang River but unfortunately, one of it appeared in the front page of the local Chinese paper the next day after we had visited the place.. A boat had knocked into one of the pavilions but I supposed this will not deter the temple from being in the itinerary of travelers to Sibu...

At Tua Pek Kong Temple, Sibu...





Traveling Tips: Visit holy places even if you are not a believer!

5 comments:

Liudmila said...

So many colors have temples in Asia. I think the temples in Europe are completely different in this sense.

footiam said...

The churches in Europe are beautiful too although not that colourful. The Church of Notre Dame in Paris for example is beautiful. It's very big and dark inside and you can hear the sound of the organs just like in heaven!

Anonymous said...

Top website, I hadn't noticed travelpangs.blogspot.com before during my searches!
Keep up the fantastic work!

Anonymous said...

Wow neat! This is a really great site! I am wondering if anyone else has come across something
exactly the same in the past? Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Finally blog with beneficial informations.

Have another serving of Travel Pangs!