I had 1 hour to kill before dinner , and decide to take a quick walk down the road, passing the huge Sibu market , medicine halls , kopitiam, groceries, mini market etc etc – my destination ? the Tua Pek Kong Temple.
The temple with it’s 7 storey pagoda is one of Sibu’s landmark.
The two intimidating looking door guardians
The elaborate altar inside the temple
I do not know who Tua Pek Kong ( TPK) is or the history /story behind the TPK , decide to do a web search.From http://www.huayan.net.my/news.php?id=49&sid=62d8e95c0a8b82e20a883ea0eb2d6059 , i learn a bit about the TPK, following is my humble attempt at telling the story :
Long long time ago, three friends from China went to sea to search for a better life and ended up in Penang , they were said to have landed in Penang 40 years before Sir Francis Light. Their names were Zhang Li (张理) , Chew Chow Siang (丘兆祥) and Ma Fook Chun (马福春), Zhang was the eldest and was probably a teacher in China, the other two were ironsmith and coal something (煅炭 – I don’t know what this is, anyone can help ?) respectively , but as they landed on a forsaken island, naturally they became fishermen.
These three friends gathered occasionally and are as close as brothers. One day Chew and Ma found that they hadn’t seen Zhang for few days and when searching for him. They later found his body by the stone cliffs, they gave Zhang a proper burial beside the cliff. Many years later, Chew and Ma died , by this time the population of the island had increased and Chew and Ma kampong folks, buried them beside Zhang. On this isolated island, there were no religion or temples to seek refuge from , out of respect the people started to pray to the three brothers and seek their protection.
Close up of the statue of the Tua Pek Kong at the altar
An interesting looking incense holder
Lanterns bearing names of devotees and what they wished for ( usually it’s good health, prosperity and peace) – hanging at the entrance of the temple
The TPK temple faced the Rejang River, a picturesque walkway where anglers gather
i didn’t have much time to explore further and unwillingly head back to the hotel ( for a quick bath before dinner)