Monday, 27 June 2016

Tua Pek Kong Temple (品仙祠大伯公和观音堂) Sitiawan, Perak

What if i was to tell you there is a different world lies hidden away behind in a remote  Kampung Pasir Panjang, Sitiawan?  When I say, "Out From Nowhere , there is a massive Tua Pek Kong temple." ..You think I'm just pulling your leg.

My mom has no idea why I brought her to this trip,  Tua Pek Kong temple can be found just about everywhere. So what so special that her son  brings her all the way from Seremban?

Pasir Panjang Laut in Sitiawan, Perak is home to a small fishing village by the seaside. Most of the residents here are Malay. Only few Chinese families live here, but extraordinarily Pasir Panjang has a well-known Chinese temple despite the relatively small number of resident.

Technically speaking, we did not come directly from Seremban as we stopped over at Ipoh enroute to Sitiawan and stayed overnight at Regalodge Hotel.  I wouldn't miss it for the world to savor the  delicious food from my mom hometown of Ipoh.

To reach Sitiawan from Ipoh, you need to take the Lumut highway exiting from Jalan Lahat in Menglembu, OR the end of Jalan Pasir Puteh. You will pass by Pusing, Tronoh, Seri Iskandar, Bota and finally Ayer Tawar.

Tua Pek Kong , the towering granite statue of himself  is 48 feet tall! Claimed to be the biggest Tua Pek Kong in the whole Malaysia(definitely) or even in the world.
 I can't see to find it anywhere bigger, I guess its true then.

Why it's a big deal that it's just one big statue? No what you see is just him, sitting in a middle of a raised platform flanked by smaller statues in front of the huge concrete courtyard. Now that you're zoomed out far enough, what do you see now?

So huge that you have to take many steps back and crane your neck to see the whole thing.

My sister spreading her hand to make herself look bigger.  I don't know what's the T-pole for but scenery spoiled by it.

 Tu Di Gong occupies a unique position, as he is at the same time the lowest ranking official in the bureaucracy, yet also the most commonly worshiped deity. However here, he is "stealing the spotlight" against much higher ranking Gods and Bodhisattvas by taking center stage, along with others magnificent statues of deities all facing the Straits of Malacca.

 List of God and Goddess names starting on the left:

Taking centre stage is the gigantic Da Bo Gong (Tua Pek Kong) statue, along with statues of Jiu Tian Xuan Nu, Lung (wang) Nu, Guan Yin Niang Niang, Jin Tong, Wu Guan, Wen Guan, Qian Li Yan, Ma Zu, Shun Feng Er and Hu Ye.

We stand in awe before the great monuments of statues built to a grand scale which were sculptured by stone craftsmen from Xiamen, China before transported here.

As with many monumental projects, not everybody was on the same page at first.  You start wondering how the whole selection process works. I don’t want to be rude to God but some of the selection of the giant statue are not recognizable to us.

 People see the same situation when visiting the four presidents at Mount Rushmore National Memorial which is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore

Heck, visitors often asked, "Who are the other two guys?", only George Washington and Abraham Lincoln recognizable.

Same here, I reckon you will talk amongst yourselves who are some of those Gods? My guess is this selection are based on the previous temple Gods or maybe not.

Okay, let's do some homework!

Statue no 1 and 11

The Mysterious Lady of the Ninth Heaven (九 天 玄 女, Jiu Tian Xuan Nu ). In Chinese mythology, Jiu Tian Xuan Nu was the goddess who taught the Yellow Emperor Huang Di to defeat the warlord Chiyou.  So, that's it? I told you she's so mysterious.

During the Han Dynasty, people believed the tiger to be the king of all beasts. According to legend the tiger's tail would turn into white when it reached the age of 500 years. In this way, the white tiger became a kind of mythological creature. It was said that the white tiger would only appear when the emperor ruled with absolute virtue, or if there was peace throughout the world.

Since the color white of the Chinese five elements also represents the west, the white tiger naturally became a mythological guardian of the west.

It is sometimes called the White Tiger of the West (西方白虎, Xī Fāng Bái Hǔ), and is known as Bai Hu in Chinese.

However due to the limited authorities that the Tiger Deity has, sometime a lot of the requests that Mortals made in front of him might not be fulfilled.

In another words, Tiger Deity does have different Bosses, but one Boss that he can't be dissociated  with will be our beloved Deity - Deity of Earth or so-called Tu Di Gong 土地公 (this is why wherever you go, if there's an altar dedicated to Tiger Deity, take notice a statue of Tu Di Gong being placed at the side or above the Tiger Deity statue)

Statue 2, 3 and 4

Guan Yin is often depicted flanked by two children. The two children are her acolytes who came to her when she was meditating at Mount Putuo. The girl is called Long Nü and the boy Shan Tsai.

In popular iconography, Lung Nue and Shan Tsai are often seen alongside Guan Yin as Long Nu(Jade One)  on the left while Jin-tong (金僮) or Shan Tsai on the right. Why isn't it the other way round? Popular saying is Nán zuǒ nǚ yòu” 男左女右 [boy left girl right] . Frankly, I just find it a little awkward why the statue of Shan Tsai place here further apart from usual close together or side by side?

 Excuse me,  being a little silly sometimes. 

Statue 5, 6 and 7

Wu Guan is a Chinese Underworld God, Ruler of the Fourth Court of FENG-DU, the Chinese Hell. What he's holding ain't no ice cream stick. Punishment varies according to crime, with cheats being clobbered with hammers. He's holding something in his hand, what is it? A hammer?

The Pool of Blood is always hungry, so WU-GUAN-WANG also takes care of family matters. Disrespectful daughters and rude sons are mashed into their component parts with great gusto.

Tua Pek Kong has a multi-functional role among the Taoists. He is foremost the protector, both in life and in death. 

As such, whenever a Chinese settlement was established, unless that community already has a patron deity, there would be a temple or shrine erected to Tua Pek Kong. Similarly, in most Chinese cemeteries, there would be a funerary temple dedicated to Tua Pek Kong, usually sited close to the entrance so nothing would enter to disturb the resting souls.

This is the legend on how the first Tua Pek Kong in Malaysia came about: 

In 1745, Zhang Li, Khoo Yeow (From Ta Pu) and Ma Hock Choon (Hokkien Yong Tian) came from Chao Zhou sail across the ocean, supposedly their desination to Batavia . (Present day name : Jakarta) 

Unfortunately there was suddenly a big storm, and the boat was diverted to a Penang cape . At that time the cape looked like a pearl, so they called it the Hai Zhu (sea pearl) islet( a very small island). Consequences of the boat was damaged beyond repair, they unable to continue their journey to Batavia anymore, so the boat occupants (about 50) unanimously decided to stay in Penang. 

Most are uneducated and illiterate, with only Zhang Li has some education, he taught his fellow Chinese how to cut the log and build houses, how to farm the land. He also used some of the goods from the boat to barter with the natives,in exchange for some fruits and seeds. 

Others countrymen, Khoo was that time an iron smith, Ma knows how to burn coal, so they cut trees and burn coal, and turn the waste iron from the boat into utensils. The 3 brothers worked hard, and the followers respected for their dedication and called them: Zhang Tua Pek Gong, Khoo Second Pek Gong, and Ma Third Pek Gong. 

Times flies by so quickly, these group of 50 soon intermarry with the natives, and some migrated to other parts, leaving behind only Zhang Li and a few countrymen. 

Zhang Li also have some knowledge of medicine, and he often collect herbs and treat people. It was soon 50 years has passed since he came to Penang. 

Khoo and Ma came back to visit Zhang then, but they could not found him. They heard from the neighbors he has gone to collect some herbs, so they set off to find him. 

They managed to locate him at a cave. At first they did not want to disturb him meditating, but as day turn into night, they soon  realize Zhang was dead. Later on, the two brothers also died 
and all three were buried along side each other. 

In remembrance of these great island pioneers, people began to build Tua Pek Gong temple at the Hai Zhu Cape, hoping that Tua Pek Gong can continue to help and protect the people. 

For the record,in 1786,Captain Francis Light accidentally discovered that there were some fisherman living in the island, and a few Chinese including Zhang Li. 

He have predated Captain Francis Light discovery of Penang by 41 years earlier.

Wenchang Wang (Chinese: 文昌王), also known as Wenchang Dijun (Chinese: 文昌帝君), is a Taoist deity in Chinese Mythology, known as the God of Culture and Literature. He has historically been called upon by scholars and writers who need inspiration or help right before an exam.

Statue 8, 9 and 10

(媽祖) Mazu, is the Chinese patron goddess who is said to protect seafarers, such as fishermen and sailors.

The worship of Mazu began in the Song dynasty. Mazu is commonly worshiped in the coastal regions of China, especially in Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, Tianjin and Hainan. She is also widely worshiped in Taiwan and other places in East/Southeast Asia.

To this day sailors from places as far-flung as China, Okinawa, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and even San Francisco pray to Mazu before heading out sailing and give thanks to goddess Mazu, for a safe voyage.

Mazu is usually depicted together with two guardian generals known as "Thousand-Mile Eye" (千里眼, Qianli Yan) who have very unique and special abilities: one has the eyes which can see things happening thousands miles away. The other one is "With-the-Wind Ear" (順風耳 Shunfeng Er) has the ears which can hear things happening thousands miles away.

 Though their iconography can vary, both are look oddly demons; "Thousand-Mile Eye" was red with two horns and two yellow sapphire eyes, while "With-the-Wind Ear" is green with one horn and two ruby eyes.

 They are said to have been two demons whom Mazu overcome. Both of them were head over heels  in love with her, but she said she would marry the one who can defeated her.  She challenged the pair to fight her for the privilege, insisting that they would have to do her bidding forever if she won.

Using her martial arts  practice, Mazu vanquish the suitors and they all became her good friends.  To this day, the pair of defeated subordinates are seen by her side in statuary and images.

Journey to the West, which depicts the  story about the legendary pilgrimage of the Tang dynasty Buddhist monk Xuanzang, who traveled to the "Western Regions",that is now India in search of sacred Buddhist scriptures to translate from Sanskrit to Chinese. The bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara (Guanyin) provides him with three protectors,Sun Wukong, Zhu Wuneng and Sha Wujing, together with a dragon prince who acts as acts as Xuanzang steed, a white horse.
Each of whom possessed supernatural powers, and years later finally returned successfully after going through numerous trials and tribulations.

(Go West) Life is peaceful there
(Go West) In the open air
(Go West) Where the skies are blue
(Go West) This is what we're gonna do

Now that's a large Holy Water container. My guess is the water flow from Guanyin Goddess Hold Holy Vase. 

Instead of using the plastic water scoop, why can't we have the traditional bamboo water ladle instead which will looks more elegant like the Japanese do? Why people throwing coins in the so called holy water? Do you think this is a wishing well also? 

The Sanskrit name "Avalokiteshvara" means "the lord who looks upon the world with compassion". Translated into Chinese, the name is "Kuan Shih Yin"or Quan Yin.According to the Huayen Sutra, 

In China, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva is represented in female form and is known as Kuan Yin. Presumably because of Kuan Yin's great compassion, a quality which is traditionally considered feminine, most of the bodhisattva's figurine in China since the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618 - 907) have appeared as female body. On the contrary, In India, the bodhisattva is generally represented as a male figure. His manifestations or transformation bodies are countless. Bodhisattva transforms himself into forms that suit the nature that help those in need. 

In her hands, Kuan Yin may hold a willow branch, a vase with water or occasionally, a lotus flower.The water ( the dew of compassion) has the quality of removing suffering, purifying the defilements of our body, speech and mind, and lengthening life.

I've seen some of the visitors get holy water in their own containers but I reckon it's not for religious purpose but fetch holy water to clean car plates, ... to dip your mobile phone into the water hoping that the lucky number will strike first prize! 

To some extent, this is another case in which the blessing of 'holy water' is  engage in those superstitious practices (strike lottery), or misuse holy water for self interest. 

A dark clouds suddenly bursting into life, just like heaven's light shining down from a distance glow on the Guanyin Goddess image. I  recognises this as a good omen indicates her presence.  Why did it take so long for you to visit us?

A strange cloud formation on the sky of Sitiawan. Some say they see a Dragon in the photo above. Well it's all in your mind or maybe it's not.

 Hey! Hey! I believe Guan Yin calling for the dragon  to chauffeur her back to Heaven. Haven't you heard of Guan Yin standing on the dragon?

Historical Background of Tua Pek Kong Temple (品仙祠大伯公和观音堂) @ Sitiawan, Perak

Ping Sien Si Temple started off more than a century ago as a humble place of worship for the Tua Pek Kong deity beside the shore. Many devotees will says, I've heard through the grapevine that countless  miraculous predictions through Tua Pek Kong's medium.  After gaining immense popularity many devotees came to worship, they have raised to help fund enhancement projects to initiate and complete the latest expansion and enhancement of temple.

 The temple moved from its original location further inland;  relocating to create a truly iconic temple landmark that help bring tourism income to this once-sleepy town .

The birthday of Fu De Zheng Shen, which falls on the 29th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar. The Tua Pek Kong Temple within Ping Sien Si Temple celebrates the occasion every year by holding a dinner for no less than 2000 devotees.

Interestingly enough, it is one that would certainly have puzzled as to how the Tua Pek Kong deity came to be worshiped together with Kuan Yin (the Goddess of Mercy). The story behind it is fascinating. As the story goes, a leap year occurs every four years.

TheTua Pek Kong Temple customary,  invited  Buddhist Chant Monks to chant the Heart Sutra
on leap years.

On one such occasion,  the sixth month of lunar calendar in 1993;  after one night's profound meditation later he stumble upon a Kuan Yin statue that was washed ashore. It seemed to exude an aura encouraging the monk to pick it up. Listening to his inner voice,  "Take up, Take up."

The Temple Attendant  received incredible news about the statue and built a small temple by the seaside in her honor.

One night, visions are transmitted through Tua Pek Kong medium, he presented the instruction to the management of the temple. God has a big plan for them, a bigger and better site to accommodate  worshippers, so that the devotees could pay their respects to Tua Pek Kong and Kuan Yin.

You can say it's similar to God gave Noah specific instructions as to build the ark.

He also gave a caution that the Kuan Yin statue could be stolen soon. True To His Word, the statue was stolen a month later, but it was incredibly returned to the temple two months later.

The stolen statue of Goddess Kuan Yin held in her honor had stood proudly in the new temple.

Nevertheless barely two weeks later, it was once again removed from temple. Again?

Tua Pek Kong medium presented another vision that the statue would be returned.
True again, the information was spot-on and the once again the statue back into it's rightful place when returned shortly by a female devotee.

Well after all the commotion of Lost and Found statue of Goddess Kuan Yin, it finally settle down
that Kuan Yin would remain in Ping Sien Si Temple or by the new temple Tua Pek Kong to bless the believers.

据说闰年大伯公庙都有请法师开坛念经,在1993年农历六月间法师开坛念经,晚上法师坐禅发现有一尊观音泥菩萨金身落难在海边,观音菩萨还讬咐法师把它拾起来,然后庙祝就建一间小庙在海边供奉拜。 有一晚,大伯公显灵示意要理事们建一间大庙给善信膜拜,还示意这尊观音菩萨神像将会被人偷去。果真,一个多月后就被人偷去了,偷去两个多月后又送回来。在庙建好后,理事们就请观音菩萨金身进庙,序两个星期内又再次被请来做法的法师抱走,大伯公又再示意在四天内神像必定会送回来。果真,有个女善信抱着那尊观音菩萨佛像回来。这是一宗千真万确的事,冥冥中已注定了观音金身将留在此为善信们救苦救难。 值得一提的是大部分神像都面向大海,当你身在其中于神像并立齐齐面向大海时,就会感觉到特别的壮观与宏伟,内心深处不期而然的产生一种浩瀚的心情。

Many dialects differences, geographical barrier, communication hindrance and the like in the past, had given rise to the different names of the temples, with the same host deity.

There is no surprise that Lord Tua Pek Kong also has 'many' birthdays, with more or less the same reasons.

Quick glance of 11 Grand Waterfront  Humongous Granite Statues of  Deities 

TIPs-  If you do happen to visit Tua Pek Kong then please visit during cooler mornings or in the later evenings. Bring along umbrellas and  stay well hydrated by drinking lots of water.

When you arrived early in the morning, you can have the whole temple (almost) all to yourself. Get there early to ensure no one is blocking your view, or find a position that allows for a better vantage point. After 9am, you can see many tour buses that brings tourists to the temple.

Avoid afternoon heat as the heat is very hot. Sitiawan is one of the driest places after Kuala Klawang Town (Jelebu), Malacca City (Malacca) and Lubok Merbau (Perak) in Malaysia with average annual rainfall just a bit below 2,000 mm (79 in).

Expect no mercy from the sun, this temple and grounds being right by the shores. There was very little shade, and it was sweltering. ... Very hot, not enough shade to cool down with.

As the temple opens all day, it’s best to arrive either very early in the day or later part of the evening.
After sundown, for a very different perspective on the beautiful humongous statues lighted by neon lights. Do drop by in the evening if you wish to catch the beautiful sun set over its horizon and enjoy the magnificent sunset.

Isn't this an awesome view? The temple is located at a very serene place of worship, which is overlooking the sea. Upon arriving you will see many giant statues of God and Goddess in front of the entrance.

Maybe they gets the inspiration from the Seven stone Moai statues  which stand in the barren landscape of Easter Island and also facing the sea.

 I am in awe of this magnificent view. You feel humble with the presence of the giant statue image. Just like David and Goliath. Standing next to it, you are dwarfed.  You feel the effect of the statue and are humbled in its presence.

Tips:  If you keen on photographing,  bring along your wide angle lens to  fit more into the frame. Making them perfect for capturing scenes such as expansive landscapes or cramped interiors. In other words, a wide angle lens is one which has a wider angle of view than a normal lens.

Tua Pek Kong aka the God of Fortune

It  probably comes as no surprise that this place is so grand and popular. A large part of the reason due to many due to punters and worshipers love to come here to seek their next lucky number or pray for fortune, hopefully their lucky the numbers requested from Tua Pek Kong will granted them the winning lucky numbers.

In olden time, Chinese Folks pray to Earth God for God's providence—for rain, and thus their abundance of crops, grains, healthy livestock but in the modern era, Earth God prayers focus on prosperity, wealth ,safety and happiness.

Contrary to popular belief is many of them managed to strike it rich and donate some amount of their earnings to the temple and began rebuilding the temple on a grand scale. Interestingly, whenever there is a deity celebration my friend would ask my mom to speak to the spirit medium to ask in Hokkien language for lucky number and most of time Tua Pek Kong will reply, "Pray for safety is already sufficient". After much persuasion, finally deity will scribble lucky numbers on a piece of paper which looks more like modern arts. You have to guess the clues given, if you guess the right number, you win.

So actually it is the lucky ones determined the numbers.

My Friend Shares His Story about Unfortunate Punter.

 A man went to the Toto 4D outlet where he bets his usual favourite numbers.  It seems the 4D betting outlet cashier has keyed his numbers wrongly but the punter refuse to accept the slip when he checked the number is incorrect.

Face with no choice, three of the outlet tellers agreed to share the betting slip. So what happens next? The accidentally chose the wrong number betting slip ended up winning the jackpot prize in Toto Jackpot.

The man was never ever seen buying from the outlet again. Obviously as the Chinese would like to say, "hit the wall" for refusing the winning number bet slip.

In the old days, my grandmother favorite dictionary.The book of lucky numbers.

 4D punters have a special dictionary to look up specific numbers attached to these events. It is amazing that there are people, particularly housewives, who memories all the numbers, usually from the more popular Tua Pek Kong version

"The dictionaries were likely a Malaysian creation adapted from an earlier dictionary of 36 names that originated from mid-Qing dynasty (1644-1911) in China.

"Chinese scholars recently found in Fujian a secret doctrine which was over 200 years old belonging to a subversive religious group called the Fragrant Flower Monks which identifies the 36 as anti-Qing martyrs,"

On the cement courtyard, there are 24 smaller statues of various Chinese demigods who are said to have mystical powers. (These are actually known in Cantonese as 'yee sup sei hau' or 24 examples of filial piety.)

 Here are some of them..

Statue plaque but not in multiple languages 

There are two possible pathways in the temple. To the left is the small door greets visitors on one side of the temple and the other is the main entrance to the temple on the right side.

 Not exactly a replica but when visitors walk on a replica of the Great Wall which allows you to feel like the real thing. The Great Wall would be the first thing you see when you arrived here. Wow! Look how high the wall! 

If you have arrived here you must be wondering, not quite sure that we had arrived at the right place. Is this a temple or fort? The whole temple is surrounded by a huge wall (Ramparts) that looks like an ancient Chinese fortress.

Within the front wall which resemble the Great Wall of china, there is more two storeys high.Most people will miss out this part as who would have thought on the front wall there is a Tua Pek Kong version of Great wall of China right on their doorstep?

Oh shit! I miss that part too... Now where is the entrance? My guess is through the watch tower.
Like little child, once inside the playground you forget to look around.

 Halt, Who Goes There?

You can climb up and walk along the walkway. There are many statues lined up along the ramparts to reenacts soldiers on guard duty, posted in the tower to keep watch for anyone approaching the wall.

Why is it call the Dragon -Gate? 

Carp Leaping Over Dragon's Gate..

One particular legend,  according to Chinese mythology, the Dragon's Gate is located at the top of a waterfall cascading from a legendary mountain.

An ancient tale tells of a huge school of golden koi swimming upstream the Yellow River in China. Gaining strength by fighting against the current, the school glimmered as they swam together through the river. When they reached a waterfall at the end of the river, many carps swim upstream against the river’s strong current, but few are capable or brave enough for the final leap over the waterfall.

Majority of the carp turned back, letting the flow of the river carry them away. The remaining koi
 persistent at trying by leaping from the depths of the river, they attempted to reach the top of the waterfall but unsuccessful.

 After a hundred years of jumping, one koi fish  finally breaks the deadlock and reached the top of the waterfall. The koi strength, determination and perseverance caught the attention of the gods, turned it into a golden dragon, the image of power and strength.

 A Chinese dragon’s large, conspicuous scales indicate its origin from a carp. The Chinese dragon  long been an auspicious symbol and associated with great and benevolent, magical power.

Jackie Chan, you're a Famous Celebrities at Sitiawan temple. Oh, really  they worship me? No, I saw you're picture on the wall of a toilet. What!!!!  So that's why the covered the original photo with white paint. Really? JACKIE must have been got really pissed off if he ever found out. :)

Love Story: The tale of the Cowherd and the Weaving Girl 

The fairy tale of the Cowherd and the Weaving Girl is one of the four most famous folktales of ancient China. It is a classic forbidden love story between a fairy and a human being and have been  retold from generation to generation  since the Han Dynasty.(206 BC-AD 220)

The Qixi Festival is abut folklore related to the fairy tale. I can tell it comes naturally, on the seventh day of every seventh month of the lunar calendar has become Chinese version of Valentine's Day.

Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends

Beauty and the Cowherd, Cowherd?

The tale of the Cowherd and the Weaving Girl is a love story between the Cowherd, a a mere human being, and the Weaving Girl, a fairy. This is not your typical Romeo and Juliet love story but between an immortal falls in love with a mortal.

They fall in love with each other, get married but eventually be forced to separate by Jade Emperor and across the sky creating the Milky Way which separated husband from wife. All hope was not lost as magpies, moved by their love and devotion, formed a bridge across the Milky Way to reunite the family.

 Out of compassion for them Jade Emperor bend the rules a little, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month each year, allowing the Cowherd and the Weaving Girl to meet each other once a year.

Traditionally, people would look up at the sky and find a bright star in the constellation Aquila as well as the star Vega, which are identified as Niulang and Zhinu.

The two stars shine on opposite sides of the Milky Way.

If there is anyone to blame, it is the perpetrator..Yue Lao aka The Chinese version of the cupid? Cupid to the western is Cute Baby of some sort of angel that shoots love arrows, while Yue Lao is the god who unites persons in marriage in a Chinese legend. Somehow his magical cord may stretch or tangle,  he screwed up on a job. 

Did it occur to you color of text to be used for the contents is wrong selection , it might clash with background color! Absolutely Unreadable!
You practically has to come face to face with names of god and goddess figurine and yet still unreadable.

Tua Pek Kong Temple:  The century-old temple given a big face lift

A sudden gust of wind shook out and causing flags fluttering on the wind. Happy adorable little Indian girl laughing, waving and playing with the  flag.

Triangle Flag can be treated in equally the same way as Command Flag or you may also consider it as prayer flag. In Ancient China, the primary method of coordinating units were to use flags, drums and gongs. Beating drums was a signal to advance, whereas ringing gongs was an order to retreat. The use of flags instructed units on the battlefield to move in specific directions.

The meaning of the different colors that Chinese use for their dragons, and what they mean.One of the basic principles of Feng Shui is the principle of five elements, which are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. This represent by five colors of and here is the color correspondence of each of the five feng shui elements:

WOOD: Green, Brown
FIRE: Red, Strong Yellow, Orange, Purple, Pink
EARTH: Light Yellow, Sandy/Earthy, Light Brown
METAL: White, Gray
WATER: Blue, Black

In Buddhism, the Four Heavenly Kings are four gods(in Chinese you may call them the 四大天王.), each of whom watches over one cardinal direction of the world. 

Mind you, not the usual other Four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop. Namely  Jacky Cheung , Leon Lai , Aaron Kwok and Andy Lau. The real  Four Heavenly Kings are  Mo Li Ching (Dhrtarastra), Mo Li Hai (Virupaksa), Mo Li Hung (Virudhaka) and Mo Li Shou (Vaisravana).

Rows of beautiful Chinese Stone Carving of Deities images.

The temple occupies a vast piece of land separated into different segments; the main temple of course, where prayers are carried out, the food stalls and retail outlets selling everything from souvenirs, paintings to confectioneries, the main ground where the highlight of this temple, humongous God structures are built facing the sea and even have a place where kids having fun at the indoor play area; where the young ones can even zorb( is the sport of rolling down a hill inside a giant inflatable ball) or waddle in a pool!

Kids Just Wanna Have Fun 

Not forgetting a separate section named Monkey Garden with a mangrove walk, which is partly along an elevated boardwalk, giving an insight into surrounding by mangrove trees.

Uh oh. Translation gone wrong

花果山 (Huāguǒ Shān) Flower and Fruit Mountain, it is where the legendary Sun Wukong, the Monkey Kong hang out with his fellow monkeys.The blame always seems to lie with Google Translate but not this time or maybe should be called "Taman  mudskippers" as no one caught sight of any monkeys.

I  miss this spot without visiting the temple, "Taman Monyet"

 Eight ornamental dragon water spout spraying a stream of water into the middle of
dragon ball pond.

It's just a thought but wouldn't it be nice to have the dragon ball glow like in this picture. The tile selected for the bottom of Dragon water feature pond should be green color to more pleasing to the eye as  algae growth  can be an eyesore.

A new Pagoda tower is also under construction.The word Pagoda may derived from the Chinese from  southern Chinese pronunciation of eight cornered tower,"Pa-Ko-Ta" [八角塔].

 Pagodas traditionally have an odd number of levels, I'm sure this Pagoda also will stands seven stories high to rival the other Tua Pek Kong Temple at Sibu and will become a new landmark for Sitiawan.

A mock up ancient Chinese coins that are sure to delight visitors to have some fun aiming at the center of the coin and more importantly for temple to make revenue.

BULLS-EYE!!! I hit cleanly into the hole in the center with a coin and makes a ting sound....but after a few attempts. 

 I only know the meaning of first coin, Chinese idiom 馬到成功(Mǎ Dào Chéng Gōng), which literately means attaining success upon arriving on a horse or  is often used to mean gain immediate success or win an instant victory.

 A related story can be traced back to the Qin Dynasty (221–206 B.C.). It was said that the stone was of divine origins and had dropped down to the human world when the goddess Nu Wa mended the sky. He believed the stone would help build a solid foundation for his reign.The emperor immediately ordered that a road be built for a trip to the stone. As soon as the road was ready, the emperor set off toward the mountain.After he returned from his trip, he was amazed to find that his empire had become more powerful and the whole country more peaceful. 

The emperor was so happy that he asked court officials to write poems and songs in celebration of his sacred journey. One adviser wrote: “Thousands of horses on the royal road; victory was attained when Shihuang worshiped the stone” to describe the success of the emperor’s trip. 

Great writers from the Yuan Dynasty developed the expression “instant victory upon arrival on a horse” based on the story about the Qin emperor worshipping the stone. Later, people used the idiom to refer to an instant victory or quick success.

The Fuk Luk Sau symbolize for wealth, good fortune and longevity,  these three wise men are Chinese gods to bring what humans keep aspiring for through centuries.

Fuk Luk Sau are always placed in a row in a specific order. To the left is always Fuk, with all the blessings and good luck energy. Luk is always in the center, with the promise of success and financial stability. Sau is to the right, smiling and offering the gifts of longevity and peaceful life.

Kshitigarbha stand on a octagonal pavilion with  beautiful sculptured dragon pillars. The stairs stone dragon water spout spilling the floor.

Kshitigarbha (Sanskrit, "Womb of the Earth") is known as Ti-ts'sang or Dicang in China and Jizo in Japan. He is venerated as the savior of beings in hell and as a guide to deceased children. Kshitigarbha has vowed not to rest until he has emptied hell of all beings. He is also the protector of living children, expectant mothers, firemen and travelers.

Unlike other bodhisattvas who are portrayed as royalty, Kshitigarbha is dressed as a simple monk with shaved head. Often he holds a wish-fulfilling jewel in one hand and a staff with six rings in the other. The six rings indicate that the Bodhisattva protects all beings in the Six Realms. Often his feet are visible, representing his ceaseless travels to all who need him.

 Always Smiling and Happy. He is called Pu-tai in China and Hotei in Japan, and is said to be an incarnation of the future Buddha, Maitreya. BUDDHA~Laughing Buddha. - It would make me smile every time I looked at it. 

Maitreya's name is derived from the Sanskrit 'maitri' meaning 'universal loving-kindness'. Infinitely compassionate and all-knowing, Buddhas teach by their words and example in order to guide us along the path to our own spiritual maturity.

Doesn't look good from the belly of the Dragon but from outside it's another world.

The Long Chinese Dragon located behind the giant Buddha is actually an exhibit hallway that showcases depictions of the 18 levels of hell.The entrance to the hell tour is through the Dragon's mouth and the walking through the dragon.

Not your usual one hell of a happy ending. Perhaps they ought to try it with a dimmer light and scary sound but maybe not a good idea as this may frighten the children...and possibly adults too.

18 levels of hell Journey is a place where our next generation can learn about moral principles and ethics, and to apprehend the meaning of karma. It encourages one to be kindhearted, law abiding and charitable as any sinful behavior in one’s current life will result in harsh punishments in hell.

You can't say anymore, "I want to speak to my lawyer."

 Even seeing those pictures now, as an adult, is fairly scary, so imagine what it was like for a little kid. Our parents love to always tell kids that if you are bad, the police will catch you using it as scaring techniques. It may be true if you put this in another way, in Chinese mythology. The guardians of the Underworld, Ox-head and Horse-face aka Hell cop have the duty escort the newly dead to the Underworld; who are also often shown as the Guards of Hell's Gate.

Eighteen types of Hell for each type of punishment after conducts preliminary trials and each prisoner is judged according to his deeds in his past life will then go through the ‘Wheel of Reincarnation’ – Samsara.  Depending on the prisoner’s past life, they would be reborn either as a human or an animal. Some would be reborn into a life of ease and comfort while others into sorrow and suffering.

Chinese culture like the saying: "You are born poor in this life on account of your past evil karma."

One of the questions asked was do we believe in Hell? I know someone had a near-death experience.
She felt whilst unconscious, she was taken to hell tour by one of her deceased relative. She saw all kinds of  tormented soul, sinners are being tortured as punishment for their offenses committed (sins) during their earthly life.

One of the Hell judge abruptly end her tour, stops her from going further by saying HALT! "You're not supposed to be in here". "Get up and leave, for this is not your place".

 That's when she woke up. Well, you'll see, she has witness , HELL IS REAL.

 So do more good deeds my friend to earn more merits in order to be saved.

Yue-Lao is known as the God of Marriage, and takes care of the marriages of all humans. As the Chinese saying, ‘marriage of a thousand miles bond by a string’. As Yue-Lao ties a red string on the foot of a man and a woman, they will end up together as husband and wife

Hey isn't that the Five Fingers Mountain? Wouldn't it be nice if Sun Wukong standing there instead of Yue-Lao? 
The five "pillars" he had found were in fact the five fingers of the Buddha's hand. When Wukong tried to escape, the Buddha turned his hand into a mountain.

Who is waving his hand in picture? Oh Oh! just realized, he is my uncle in law. I must have been so engrossed  in photographing and exploring that I've lost track of time? 

Did you notice  the red string of fate on the statue fingers?  ( 姻缘红線; pinyin: Yīnyuán hóngxiàn), also referred to as the red string of marriage.
According to this myth, the god tie an invisible red cord around the ankles of those that are destined to meet one another in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way. 

 According to Chinese mythology, , the deity in charge of “the red thread” is believed to be Yue Xia Lao (月下老), often abbreviated to Yue Lao (月老), the Old Man Under the Moon, is the ancient Chinese god of Romance, Love and Marriage.

The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of place, time, or circumstances. In the traditional Chinese marriage custom, the bride and bridegroom walks together holding a length of red cloth with a ribbon in the middle. This might be a representation of their match by Yue Lao.

 A true expression of the word "to tie the knot"  in English means "to get married". 

The Eight Immortals crossing the sea but the boat has not arrived yet. Let's play a game of Chess! 

Chinese Animal Zodiac Statues, My Chinese sign is a Horse. What's Your Sign?

A pissing contest, or pissing match, is a game in which participants compete to see who can hold their pee the longest

Okay listen up little boys, don't you dare pull a real stunt like that! Props are not intended to imitate.

Manneken Pis is a landmark small bronze sculpture (61 cm) in Brussels, depicting a naked little boy urinating into a fountain's basin. Here is a twin Chinese version of statue of two little boys happily pissing in the pond.

Little girls become a little embarrassed for them to see boy wee wee

Lots of Carp Fish.  Known to most Westerners as Koi Fish, it is one of the most auspicious creatures in Chinese and Japanese culture.

Koi excrete waste into the water in the form of ammonia, primarily through their gills. Also adding to the problem are organic compounds from fish feces, plant matter, and soil that may flow into the pond.
In order to provide good clear water quality some form of waste removal must be provided.

Two methods used in average water gardens and garden ponds are mechanical filtration, and biological filtration..

Lü Shang (Chinese: 呂尚; fl. 11th century BC), commonly known as Jiang Ziya (姜子牙) and Jiang Shang (姜尚), was an ancient Chinese military strategist who often said to himself, "Fish, if you don't want to live any more, come and swallow the hook yourself."
Jiang Ziya, the great general and strategist and military mastermind who was key to establishing the Zhou Dynasty, was said to have spent years in his old age fishing. His unconventional methods of fishing by using a straight hook, or no bait, or with his hook dangling above the water.

The future king walked by everyday and saw this old fisherman fishing with a hookless rod. One day,  finally his curiosity compelled him to go to him and have a good chat with the old man.

 The Old Man told him, "I am not fishing for fish, but I am fishing for man." You see, this old man is waiting for the right person to come along. Nowadays, there is a saying that Lord Jiang goes fishing simply implies that " those who wants to get caught, gets caught. "

 After Jiang Ziya became the general, he was known as "Taigong", or "the Grand Duke". The degree to which this qualifies as a myth is open to question, but it is certainly a well-known motif.

The Origin, Legends & Power Of Tua Pek Kong (大伯公)

Fu De Zheng Shen (福德正神) is the Earth Deity worshipped by Chinese folks. In China and Taiwan, he is addressed as Tu Di Gong (土地公) or Tu Di Shen (土地神). In South East Asia, he is often called Da Bo Gong (大伯公) - The Great Grand Uncle.

The name Tua Pek Kong (or Da Bo Gong in Mandarin) translates as Great Grand Uncle. As with many other Taoist deities, Tua Pek Kong is an immortalized historical individual. The person in question is Hock Teik (Fu De in Mandarin) who lived way back in the Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC - 256 BC). At age 35, he was appointed to be a Mandarin, an official in charged of the Imperial Treasury. In his position, he would often seek help for his fellow countrymen from the emperor whenever calamity falls on them.

Hock Teik passed away in 1236 BC and was immortalized by the Jade Emperor as Thor Ti Kong (土地公, Pinyin: Tǔ Dì Gōng). He was said to be sent back to earth to be the protector of the people, hence the proliferation of Tua Pek Kong temples, particularly among the Hokkien.

There is no universal acceptable explanation for the origin of Tua Pek Kong.

Penang has its own localized version of Tua Pek Kong in the person named Zhang Li (张理; Zhāng Lǐ), a Hakka on the mid-18th century. He was travelling towards Sumatra when his ship was blown to Penang instead. He settled within the existing community of Chinese on the island. After his death, he was deified as an "honourary Tua Pek Kong". The Tanjong Tokong Tua Pek Kong Temple honors him.

 Are you hungry? A huge open air food court available here with serving Foo chow specialties such as red wine chicken mee sua (红酒面线).

Quench your thirst and hunger after a long walk . My Stomach Is Growling. Food to the rescue. 

Can you think of 10 things that need improvement? Just for fun, only for my pleasure.

1 - Floor plan - lets you  visualize where you are and helps you get where you want to go next.

2 - Direction sign lets you know you're going in the right path but can't it be written a multi language as simple as "Tua Pek Kong Temple"?

3 -  Hawker stall cleanliness. Food operator need to emphasize on the overall hygiene, cleanliness and housekeeping standards of the premises

4 – Toilet cleanliness. Public toilets needs to typically cleaned at regular intervals several times a day.

5 – Temple story history. Chinese text engraved on stone or tablets engraved to explain to visitors.

6 – The legend of the Gods. Not everybody knows how the story goes about the Gods here.

7 – A spokesman for the the temple would be welcome.

8 – QR codes are just about everywhere you go these days. When a QR Code is scanned you will get detailed analytics about the temple and Gods.

9 - Suggestion box not the traditional type where collecting dust but using an anonymous online suggestion box that gives you information you can act on today.

10 – An official temple website dedicated to this temple.

 After savoring a meal at the Food Court, you may think of getting some gift for friends and relatives. Kampung Koh Famous Chili Sauce  has long been known as one of the best food sauce.

Let's talk about Sitiawan Cheong Cia Gong Pian.

Yippee! We found the place,  Cheong Cia Gong Pian but as soon as I walk to the place...Boss Sold Out. Sorry. 

We asked for directions to Cheong Cia Gong Pian and a man who regularly visited Sitiawan told us it's best to have it on the spot. So that you are able to taste the crunchiness.

True to his word, we bought two pieces from Tua Pek kong food court and the Gong Pian outer crust is super hard. So, like the man said, it's best to have it there and then :)

Story of how the town got its name

According to legend, Kampung Sungai Gajah Mati (literally: "Dead Elephant River Village") was the place where two large elephants drowned.

One of them, overladen with tin ore got stuck in the muddy bank during low tide of the Dinding River. Efforts to save the elephant were without success and finally, everyone gave up hope and left. Nevertheless, the second elephant refused to budge and hung on to its friend, resulting in them drowning together when the tide rises.

 The Alternative Story: The other elephant also had got stuck in mud while making a brave attempt to free his friend. Elephant rarely drown unless in a difficult situation such as above. You'll be surprised that elephant can swim long distances without any problems by using their trunk as a snorkel, so they have no trouble breathing.

Eventually that's how the folks told the same story as to where Sitiawan got its sad tale ties to the small town.

How to get there

At the KFC junction in Sitiawan, turned left towards Kg. Koh, a place which tourist used to go to for seafood meals. Past Kg. Koh, looked out for Jalan Pasir Panjang on the right, which was well sign-posted. Eventually you'll come across a direction sign to Kuan Yin temple which reassured you that you're on the right track.

It doesn’t matter if you can’t read Chinese. Go towards Kampung Koh’s direction, passing by which will lead you to Jalan Pasir Panjang.

GPS : 4.163475, 100.688934

I finally have make a trip to the temple and see what it's like and it is great and i wasn't disappointed
Absolutely worth it!!

 Many times I heard good things about this place from my friend, Mr Toh. Simply the best temple in Malaysia so far but unfortunately not many people have been to here due to its  desolated location which can prove to be a tough find.

 You MUST Visit at Least Once in your lifetime and I’ll probably come back again to see the changes as more attraction will be added here. I hope someday they will add a symbol or statue of the two elephant friendship at the front of temple to promote the interesting story behind this town, Setia kawan ..  Opps gets it wrong (again),  it's Sitiawan rather. Actually I prefer the alternate spelling: Setiawan which is more closer to the meaning why the town named after.

Friends to the End: The True Value of Friendship ..


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  4. Thankiu for the information provided! Seen some of your previous posts, it's truely remarkable

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  6. 比特币的投资价值
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