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"Sibu is not a very touristy town, but it is well worth a visit. Tua Pek Kong temple has stood as a guard at the Rajang River for over 100 years. This is the highest pagoda by the sea.
You can get the key to the top of the pagoda. There is no entrance fee, but you can leave a donation. The view from the top over the Rajang River and Sibu is very beautiful. The temple can be busy during festivals and other days when people come to pray for success or good fortune. The fast boats quay with boats to Belaga and Kapit are right next to the temple and it is very interesting to watch them arrive and depart."

Tua Pek Kong Temple The oldest and best preserved Chinese temple in Sibu city with a 7-storey pagoda with the temple's history going back to the 1850s. The temple is dedicated to the Taoist god Tua Pek Kong. Throughout Southeast Asia, Tua Pek Kong is referred to as the “God of Prosperity.”
Tua Pek Kong is located in the city center and is easily accessible on foot as you walk through the city of Sibu. The temple is a striking landmark in Sibu, overlooking the Rajang River majestically.
The temple's history dates back to the early 1850s and was later mentioned in an article in the Sarawak Gazette. Kingdom of Sarawak in 1871. In 1897, the temple was rebuilt into a typical Chinese Taoist temple architecture designed with tiled roof, stone block floor and all the decorative purlin and fixtures imported from China. For example, the statue of the deity Tua Pek Kong, was specially sculpted and imported from Xiamen (China).

According to word of mouth, Tua Pek Kong Temple is associated with many miracles. One of them is the statue of Tua Pek Kong himself. In 1871, while the statue was being transported from Xiamen, the ship faced a violent storm at sea. As the ship was about to sink, the sailors saw a nice-looking old man sitting on the bow of the ship. He waved his hands to the raging sea.
The storm suddenly calmed down and the man disappeared just as suddenly as it had come. The journey was able to continue safely to Sibu. On arrival in Sibu, the workers took the statue out of the coffin and were shocked to see that its face resembled that of the old man who had calmed the waves.



After the building was completed, the list of donors and details of the expenses were recorded in two pieces of stone tablet that are still well preserved in the temple. On March 8, 1928, the city of Sibu was destroyed by a major fire, preserving the temple. However, the temple was destroyed during World War II, but the statue of Tua Pek Kong was left unharmed. After the end of the war, the temple with wooden structure was rebuilt.
In 1957, the temple was rebuilt with concrete and stone.
Another renovation on both wings of the temple was carried out in 1979 and the roof of the temple was changed from "belian" wood to concrete with glazed roof tiles. The ridge or roof and column were decorated with traditional dragon and phoenix statues.
In 1982 it was planned to rebuild the rear part and a 7-storey pagoda for the worship of the Goddess of Mercy (Kuan Yin). This plan was realized in 1987. Historical objects such as photographs, magazines and wooden printing plates are displayed in display cases on the third level of the pagoda. Besides religious purposes of the pagoda, tourists also climb the many steps for views of the Rajang rivers and to watch the sunset.

For your information:

Guanyin, Guan Yin or Kuan Yin is a Buddhist goddess, a bodhisattva, who is associated with compassion.
A bodhisattva is one who has made a decision to become a Buddha.

A Pagoda is a multi-eaves tiered tower common in China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, usually Buddhist but sometimes Taoist, and were often located in or near viharas. The pagoda originated in the stupa of ancient India.




   Ben van Wijnen


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