Hean Boo Thean (Floating Temple) at the Waterfront by the Clan Jetties

As I have never been to Hean Boo Thean since its opening last year, a good friend offered to take me.  We decided to go at about 6.30 p.m. to take photos so that we could watch the transformation as day turned to night.  When the lights come on each night, the floating temple looks like a floating fairyland against the velvety night.

I shall attempt to share with you a most memorable trip using photo collages.

Our adorable tourist guide showing the way to Hean Boon Thean walking amongst the haphazard idyllic setting of pre-war houses established by the early settlers when they arrived from China by ships.

Our adorable tourist guide showing the way to Hean Boo Thean walking amongst the haphazard and idyllic setting of pre-war houses established by the early settlers when they arrived from China by ships.  Right bottom photo shows the exit staircase from the top floor.

The exterior of the Floating on the Ground Floor.  Top left photo shows the various clan jetties.

The exterior of the Floating Temple on the Ground Floor. Top left photo shows the various clan jetties visible across the sea.

Main Hall showing Main Altar in front with various Deities.

Main Hall showing Main Altar in front with various Deities.

Cabinet on right of altar showing various headgears of the Deities.  From left to right of bottom photos

Cabinet on right of altar showing various headgears of the Deities. From left to right of bottom photos – headgear of Hock Teik Cheng Sin, headgear of Chai Sin Yah and headgear of Ong Yah Bo.

Photos from left to right at the top - Altar of Tua Pek Kong, Central Altar at the back of Main Hall with various Deities, passage way into back of Main showing a grand intricate sedan chair used by Deities during processions.

At the back of Main Hall.  Photos from left to right at the top – Altar of Tua Pek Kong, Central Altar at the back of Main Hall with various Deities, passage way into back of Main Hall showing a grand intricate sedan chair used by Deities during processions.  Bottom photo on left – Chor Soo Kong whose placement is below the yellow robe of the right Deity at Central Altar.  Altar of Tay Choo Kong below Central Altar in centre photo at the bottom.

Leaving Main Hall on Ground to go upstairs located next to the kitchen.  Table selling praying paraphernalia for purchase by devotees.

Leaving Main Hall on Ground Floor to go upstairs using staircase located next to the kitchen at the back of property (bottom photo on left).  Top photo showing table selling praying paraphernalia for purchase by devotees.

Hall with Goddess of Mercy on top floor.

Hall with Goddess of Mercy on top floor.

Inside Hall of Goddess of Mercy.

Inside Hall of Goddess of Mercy.

Images of roof decorations, 24 filial piety and sea vista before the magical lights   came on.
Images of  Kuan Yin Hall, roof decorations, lanterns, statues of 24 filial piety and enchanting sea vista before the magical lights came on.

As the lights came on and darkness fell, one can see the magical setting started changing before one's very eyes.  Totally captivating.

As the lights came on, the magical setting started changing making it a most memorable experience.

Back to Ground Floor to capture photos when the Floating Temple is all brightly lit up.

Back to Ground Floor to see the Floating Temple by night.  Notice the lanterns with name tags – blessings for devotees during the lst lunar month to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Lights against the black velvety night sky.  Notice the moon between the Dragon's mouth and the lantern.

Lights against the black velvety night sky. Notice the moon between the Dragon’s mouth and the lantern in top right photo.

Retracing our steps for a well-earned dinner.  What a memorable experience watching the magical transformation.

Retracing our steps for a well-earned dinner. What a memorable experience watching the magical transformation.

Thank you to my wonderful tourist guide and most patient companions, waiting for me to take countless photos while their stomachs must have been calling out for dinner.

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Chinese New Year Open House at Sian Chye Tong, Air Itam, Penang

Sian Chye Tong held its open house on the 16th day of the 1st lunar month (corresponding to 15th February 2014). It was attended by devotees and well-wishers.  The temple was brightly lit with a magnificent horse in the Main Hall as the centre piece.  At 8 p.m. there was a lion dance, followed by drummers and a dragon dance.

Sian Chye Tong at dusk.

Sian Chye Tong at dusk.

Main Hall of Sian Chye Tong.

Main Hall of Sian Chye Tong.

Interior of Sian Chye Tong.

Rich and opulent interior of Sian Chye Tong.

Hosts and Guests enjoying themselves at the Open House.

Hosts and Guests enjoying themselves at the Open House.

Sian Chye Tong celebrates the Year of the Horse with this beautiful white horse.

Sian Chye Tong celebrates the Year of the Horse with this beautiful white horse.

Lion Dance to pay homage to Baby God and all the Deities at the Main Altar.

Lion Dance paying homage to Baby God and all the Deities at the Main Altar.

Drummer Boys entertaining the guests.

Drummers entertaining the guests.

Lou Sang at Sian Chye Tong.

Tossing of Yee Sang at Sian Chye Tong.

Dragon Dance - paying homage to Baby God.

Dragon Dance – paying homage to Baby God.

Sian Chye Tong.

Sian Chye Tong all lit up to celebrate the Year of the Horse.

Gong Xi Fa Cai.  Sian Chye Tong wishes all devotees a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.  Till we meet again in the Year of the Goat, blessings from Baby God.

Horses and Zodiac Signs at Ban Ka Lan Festival 2014

This event was jointly organised by Hokkien Kongsi, Penang; Penang State Tourism Development and Culture and the Snake Temple Area Residents Committee at Snake Temple, Jalan Tokong Ular on the evening of Tuesday, 4th February 2014.  It was on the 5th day of Chinese New Year which is the Year of the Horse.

As one walked into the venue along Jalan Tokong Ular there was an air of gaiety and festivity.  We went early at 5.30 p.m. to be in time for the official event at 7.30 p.m. and it was a good time to to take photos before the crowds came.  There were the 12 beautiful zodiac signs on display with horses as well.  I shall try to share with you the photos I have taken with my little camera trying to capture the sights, essence and atmosphere of this gala event.

Organisers checking and preparing the stage for the Official Launching of the Flame Watching Festival 2014

Organisers checking and preparing the stage for the Official Launching of the Flame Watching Festival 2014

Jalan Tokong Ular, Venue of the Ban Ka Lan Festival 2014

Jalan Tokong Ular, Venue of the Ban Ka Lan Festival 2014

Twelve Zodiac signs on display with the Horse taking centre stage.  The famous wooden horse is  usually on display at New World Park.  In main photo to Horse is Khoo Kay Hock, Yeoh Seng Hoe, Khoo Kee Chooi and Ong Hock Lye, creator of the Horse.

Twelve Zodiac signs on display with the Horse taking centre stage. The famous wooden horse is usually on display at New World Park. In main photo of Horse is Khoo Kay Hock, Khoo Kee Chooi, Yeoh Seng Hoe and Ong Hock Lye (creator of the Horse) of OHL Gallery.

Chor Soo Kong Temples from Penang setting up kiosks for the Chiah Hoay Ceremony which would commence from 11 p.m. onwards.

Chor Soo Kong Temples from Penang setting up kiosks for the Chiah Hoay Ceremony which would commence from 11 p.m. onwards.  Centre Photo below shows Cheng Hoe Seah kiosk.

For more details on the the Flame Watching Ceremony (Chiah Hoay) by Cheng Hoe Seah, please refer to http://ritalim937.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/ban-ka-lan-snake-temple-annual-flame-watching-festival-2014/

Take your pick of your favourite horse.

Take your pick of your favourite horse.

Dragons leading dignitaries to pay homage to Chor Soo Kong.

Dragons leading dignitaries to pay homage to Chor Soo Kong.

Official Launching Ceremony of the Ban Ka Lan Flame Watching Festival 2014.

Official Launching Ceremony of the Ban Ka Lan Flame Watching Festival 2014.

Star attraction of the evening - The Shanghai China Cultural Acrobatic Performance.

Star attraction of the evening’s programme – The Shanghai China Cultural Acrobatic Performance.

Chiah Hoay Ceremony by Cheng Hoe Seah at altar of Chor Soo Kong in Main Hall of Snake Temple.

Chiah Hoay Ceremony by Cheng Hoe Seah at altar of Chor Soo Kong in Main Hall of Snake Temple.

Prediction for Penang’s Economy for Year of Horse 2014.  First 4 months – average; next 4 months – good; and last 4 months of the year – average.

Down Memory Lane on Monday, 4th November 2013

A group of friends took a day off from their schedule to spend some time together, with some flying in from abroad and some from outstation.  Some of us have not seen each other since school days.  It was a time of nostalgia and a trip down memory lane.

The afternoon started with lunch at the Happy Family Restaurant in Hye Keat Estate, at the foothills of the iconic Penang Hill.  Then it was a trip up to Viaduct Station to The White House, a colonial bungalow rented by our organiser, Soon Hin through John Lau.

In the evening amidst the tranquil and idyllic setting of Penang Hill, we had a reunion dinner with the traditional steam boat.

Let us toast to many more years of friendship and happy times together.

Let us toast to many more years of friendship and happy times together.

Of course, the girls must have a photo together (without the guys)!!

Of course, the girls must have a photo together (without the guys).

In the train going uphill.

In the train going uphill . (Photo – courtesy of Wong Soek Wai)

See Viaduct Station on the left - out the train and up the slope.

See Viaduct Station on the left – out the train and up the slope. (photo – courtesy of Wong Soek Wai)

The hike up the "flatland" so said Yap Soon Hin.  (Photo courtesy of Lim Guat Ean)

The hike up the “flatland” so said Yap Soon Hin. (Photo – courtesy of Lim Guat Ean)

The stately and majestic White House overlooking Georgetown, Penang.

The stately and majestic White House overlooking Georgetown, Penang.  (Notice the long white table on ground floor.)

At the entrance to White House.

At the entrance to White House (3 guys were taking photos with numerous cameras).

Now it is the guys turn.  (Not fair to leave them out of the photo.)

Now it is the guys turn. Not fair to leave them out of the photo; besides we need them to take some more photos of us so we have to be nice to them, right gals?

What a beautiful living room (graced by elegant ladies).

What a beautiful living room (graced by elegant ladies).

Having a lighthearted moment in the Dining Room.

Having a lighthearted moment in the Dining Room.

Down the steps of the bungalow to go for a walk up the summit, (Photo - courtesy of Wong Soek Wai)

Down the steps of the bungalow to go for a walk up to the summit, (Photo – courtesy of Wong Soek Wai)

Whose feet are these?

Whose feet are these? (Photo – courtesy of Wong Soek Wai)

Hilltop View. (photo - courtesy of Wong Soek Wai)

Hilltop View. (Photo – courtesy of Wong Soek Wai)

After their invigorating walk to the summit.  We are back!

After their invigorating walk to the summit. We are back!

What a charming photo for the album.

What a charming photo for the album.

In the Dining Room before dinner time where we were supposed to have our steamboat until a power glitch.......

Chatting before dinner.

Getting for ready for dinner in the Dining Room before the power glitch......(photo - courtesy of Wong Soek Wai)

Getting ready for dinner in the Dining Room before the power glitch……(Photo – courtesy of Wong Soek Wai)

Waiting for the pots to boil.

Notice the long white table in Photo 6 – that was where we had our steamboat dinner.  (Photo – courtesy of Wong Soek Wai)

Comeon guys, let us have some more of the yummilicious food. (Photo courtesy of Lim Guat Ean)

Come on guys, let us have some more of the yummilicious food. (Photo – courtesy of Lim Guat Ean)

They may all look serious in the photo trying to behave themselves, but I can assure the dinner was full of laughter and merriment.

They may all look serious in the photo trying to “behave” themselves, but I can assure you the dinner was full of fun and laughter .

At Viaduct Station waiting for the 9.00 p.m. train to go down. (Photo - courtesy of Wong Soek Wai)

At Viaduct Station waiting for the 9.00 p.m. train to go down. (Photo – courtesy of Wong Soek Wai)

Adieu, till we meet again.

Adieu, till we meet again.

All of us would like to thank Saw Kee and Soon Hin for making the arrangements.  We had a wonderful and memorable day up Penang Hill.  Thanks to Lim Guat Ean and Wong Soek Wai for sharing your photos.  

Official Opening of Khoo Kongsi Art Gallery

The Art Gallery, situated in the left courtyard of Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, was officially open by Y.B. Danny Law Heng Kiang on Friday, 12th July 2013 at 11.30 a.m.  The Trustees of Khoo Kongsi hope to use this venue to promote art and cultural heritage of Penang.  For the opening ceremony, the Art Gallery showcased the works of two Khoo clansmen, Khoo Khay Tat and Khoo Cheang Jin.

The much-awaited Khoo Kongsi Virtual Tour DVD by Leslie Lai was also launched by Y.B. Danny Law during this auspicious occasion.

Sneak Preview of the Art Gallery.  From left to right - Khoo Kay Hock, Gary Khoo, Datuk Seri Khoo Keat Siew, Khoo Kee Chooi, Khoo Kay Cheng and Khoo Khay Hock.

Sneak Preview of the Art Gallery. From left to right – Khoo Kay Hock, Gary Khoo, Datuk Seri Khoo Keat Siew, Khoo Kee Chooi, Khoo Kay Cheng and Khoo Khay Hock.

Guests at the Official Ceremony - Khoo Pok Kok, Yan Chen, Christine Tang and Khoo Kay Hock

Khoo Pok Kok, Yan Chen, Christine Tang and Khoo Kay Hock.

Guests chatting with friends while awaiting the arrival of Guest of Honour, Y. B. Danny Law.

Guests chatting with friends while awaiting the arrival of Guest of Honour, Y. B. Danny Law.

Well-known Japanese Artist Katsuhiro Sato with his wife at our Official Opening Ceremony.

Khoo Kay Hock with well-known Japanese Artist Dr. Katsuhiro Sato and his wife at our Official Opening Ceremony.

Y.B. Danny Law signing the guest book upon arrival.

Y.B. Danny Law signing the guest book upon arrival.

Chairman of Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, Datuk Seri Khoo Keat Siew, giving a speech.

Chairman of Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, Datuk Seri Khoo Keat Siew, giving a speech.

Y.B. Danny Law Heng Kiang giving a speech.

Y.B. Danny Law Heng Kiang giving a speech.

Artist Khoo Khay Tat, Khoo Boo Yeang, Datuk Seri Khoo Keat Siew and Artist Khoo Cheang Jin listening to the speech of Y.B. Danny Law.

Artist Khoo Khay Tat, Khoo Boo Yeang, Datuk Seri Khoo Keat Siew, Artist Khoo Cheang Jin, Alyssa Khoo and guests listening to the speech of Y.B. Danny Law.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony by Khoo Khay Tat, Datuk Seri KHoo Keat Siew, Y.B. Danny Law, Khoo Boo Yeang and Khoo Cheang Jin.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony by Khoo Khay Tat, Datuk Seri Khoo Keat Siew, Y.B. Danny Law, Khoo Boo Yeang and Khoo Cheang Jin.

Art Gallery is now officially open for public viewing.

Art Gallery is now officially open for public viewing.

Launching of the Khoo Kongsi Virtual Tour DVD by  Y.B. Danny Law.

Launching of the Khoo Kongsi Virtual Tour DVD by Y.B. Danny Law.

Tour of the Art Gallery with the artists in attendance.

Tour of the Art Gallery by VIPs with the artists in attendance.

Wendy Khoo, Douglas Khoo and Khoo Kay Hock enjoying the snacks and refreshment  after the Opening Ceremony.

Wendy Khoo, Douglas Khoo and Khoo Kay Hock enjoying the snacks and refreshment after the Opening Ceremony.

I will leave you with this beautiful majestice photo the pride of the Khoo Clan - Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, the Heritage Jewel of Penang.  Seen in photo is Khoo Boo Hong.

I will leave you with this beautiful photo 0f the pride of the Khoo Clan – Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, the Heritage Jewel of Penang. Seen in photo is Khoo Boo Hong.

Wesak Celebration on 23rd May at Sian Chye Tong, Hye Keat Estate, Ayer Itam, Penang

Sian Chye Tong commemorates Wesak Day annually with a grand celebration and a state-of the-art float beautifully decorated by their Youth Section.  This year it is no exception.

Members and devotees came from all over to attend their Wesak Day celebration on Thursday, 23rd May at 7.30 p.m.  Wesak Day is celebrated annually on the 15th day of the 4th moon of the Chinese calendar, which is on 24th May this year.  As we are a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society Wesak Day is a public holiday in Malaysia and it is celebrated on a grand scale culminating in a procession of beautifully-decorated, brightly-lit floats in the evening.

Entrance to Sian Chye Tong

Grand Entrance to Sian Chye Tong

Main Hall of Sian Chye Tong

Main Hall of Sian Chye Tong

Main Altar of Sian Chye Phor Sat (known as Baby God)

Main Altar of Sian Chye Phor Sat (known as Baby God)

Lighting of oil lamps by devotees.  Hard at work is Peter Ho, the maestro.

Lighting of oil lamps by devotees. Hard at work is Peter Ho, the maestro.

Official Ceremony starts with prayers to Lord Buddha and Sian Chye Phor Sat.  In red is Eddie Khoo, Chairman of Sian Chye Tong.  State dignitaries present - YB Teh Lai Heng and YB Danny Law.

Official Ceremony started with prayers to Lord Buddha and Sian Chye Phor Sat. From left to right Khoo Kay Hock, Loh Choon Teik, Alice Teoh, Eddie Khoo Gim Siew, Dato’ Seri Khoo Keat Siew, YB Danny Law, YB Teh Lai Heng, Hong Kian Beng and Gary Khoo.

Welcoming Speech by Loh Choon Teik, Chairman of Youth Section

Welcoming Speech by Loh Choon Teik, Chairman of Youth Section

Souvenir presentation to Patrons of Sian Chye Tong by YB Teh Lai Heng.

Souvenir presentation to Patrons of Sian Chye Tong by YB Teh Lai Heng.

Group photograph of Patrons with YB Danny Law, Eddie Khoo and YB Teh Lai Heng

Group photograph of Patrons with YB Danny Law, Eddie Khoo, YB Teh Lai Heng and Loh Choon Teik.

Wesak Day - a time of giving and receiving.  YB Danny Law giving donation on behalf of Sian Chye Tong to Linda Khoo who accepted the donation on behalf of Metta Mobile Free Clinic, Penang

Wesak Day – a time of giving and receiving. YB Danny Law giving a donation on behalf of Sian Chye Tong to Linda Khoo who accepted it on behalf of Metta Mobile Free Clinic, Penang.

YB Teh Lai Heng, State Assemblyman of Komtar, giving a speech.

YB Teh Lai Heng, State Assemblyman of Komtar, giving a speech.

Wesak Day Celebration officially declared open. Down came the confetti. (Photograph taken by Peter Ho.)

Wesak Day Celebration officially declared open. Down came the confetti. (Photograph taken by Peter Ho.)

Float of Sian Chye Tong (photograph taken by Peter Ho).

Float of Sian Chye Tong (photograph taken by Peter Ho).

Devotees praying at Main Altar

Devotees praying at Main Altar.

Devotees taking holy water.

Devotees taking holy water.

Lighting oil lamps for world peace.

Lighting oil lamps for world peace.

Thank you Peter Ho for the beautiful photographs.  Much appreciated.

Ceramah at College Square (Field opposite Convent Pulau Tikus), Penang

I attended Pakatan Rakyat ceramah on 1st May at College Square in the field opposite Convent Pulau Tikus, which started at 8.30 p.m.  It was interesting to note that Pakatan Rakyat (DAP, PKR & PAS) had to sell souvenirs to raise money and pass the donation box for people to contribute.

The parliamentary candidate for Bukit Bendera is Zairil Khir Johari and the State candidate for Pulau Tikus is Ms. Yap Soo Huey.

Election Day is on Sunday, 5th May 2013 and it was interesting to hear what they have to say.

The person who made an impact was Zairil Khir Johari, an eloquent speaker who promised freedom of speech, freedom of the media and most important of all, to revamp the Education System and train our students (who will be the future leaders of tomorrow) to be thinking individuals.  I personally think that is the right way to go as our Malaysian students have been trained to be followers, and have never been encouraged to speak up and give their views and opinions like the students of International Schools.  He also said that should they find themselves in Putrajaya, then the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance should not be the one and the same person, so as to have a proper check and balance system.

The star of the evening’s ceramah was none other than the National Chairman of DAP, the iconic Karpal Singh aka Tiger of Malaysia.  He gave some interesting insight saying that the people who have been abusing power will be held accountable for their corruption and will be brought to justice, should the Pakatan Rakyat take over the Federal Government.  DAP has given its support for Anwar Ibrahim to be the Prime Minister (although PAS has not made any commitment on this issue) and Malaysia will remain a secular country as stated in the Constitution, and will not become an Islamic country.

Ms. Yap Soo Huey, the candidate of Pulau Tikus would like to ask the ruling party, Barisan Nasional where they get their funds from to give free food, free T-shirts, prizes for lucky draws, etc on a daily basis in Penang.  Penang has been swamped with their blue 1Malaysia Flags and Barisan Nasional flags, which she felt was an overkill and a waste of taxpayers money.

Ceramah at College Square, field opposite Convent Pulau Tikus, Penang

Ceramah at College Square, field opposite Convent Pulau Tikus, Penang

Khairil Khir Johari, parliamentary candidate for Bukit Bendera

Zairil Khir Johari, parliamentary candidate for Bukit Bendera.

Karpal Singh aka Tiger of Malaysia

Karpal Singh aka Tiger of Malaysia

Ms. Yap Soo Huey, candidate for Pulau Tikus, Penang

Ms. Yap Soo Huey, candidate for Pulau Tikus, Penang

Crowd listening to the speakers.

Crowd listening to the speakers.

Selling t-shirts and other miscellaneous items to raise funds for their campaign,

Selling t-shirts and other miscellaneous items to raise funds for their campaign.

UBAH T-shirts in various colours on sale.

UBAH T-shirts in various colours for sale.

A supporter wearing the hornbill hat, which I believed has been sold out.

A supporter wearing the hornbill hat, which I believe has been sold out.

UBAH mascot.

UBAH mascot.

I would  like to take this opportunity to remind all Malaysians to cast your votes on Sunday, 5th May 2013.