Hean Boo Thean Temple, also known as the Kuan Yin floating temple in George Town, is a relatively newly renovated Chinese temple located at the edge of Yeoh Jetty, in Lebuhraya Merdeka, off Weld Quay.
Hean Boo Thean temple is mainly dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy, the South Sea Bodhisattva Kuan Yin. The temple is very colourful at daytime and even more so when the lights are lit up at night.
The entrance is located at the lower deck of the temple. At the centre floor there is a lotus mural. There is a Central Sanctuary made of granite that has a prayer hall for many Chinese deities. There are four pillars with dragon motifs crafted in bas-relief supporting the porch of the Central Sanctuary, and in front there is an altar for the Jade Emperor.
Outside the lower deck you can see a set of double arches named the Dragon Gate Archway and the Calm Weather Archway. Adjoining the 2 arches are 2 pavilions with six-sided roofs with sloping ridges. Here visitors and devotees can rest while enjoying the view of the seas and the clan jetties. One pavilion has a set of table and chairs where you can bring and eat your food and rest. The Kin Remembrance Pavilion is facing the sea and the Mercy and Compassion Pavilion is facing the inland.
At the main floor, you will find the statues of the 24 Mythical Heroes lined up as if guarding the main prayer sanctuary. The main hall enshrines the statue of the Goddess of Mercy. The sloped roof has a pair of basking dragons and the Taoist deities Fu Lu Shou, representing Good Fortune, Prosperity and Longevity.
The original temple built in 1972 is a simple shrine which is perched over the sea supported by wooden stilts. During high tides, the temple would be flooded which resulted in its dilapidation.
Hean Boo Thean Temple underwent a major expansion and reconstruction in May 2011. The project cost RM1.5 million and was completed in November 2012. The result was after its completion, the temple became a 2-storey structure with a total floor area of 12,000 sqft. The new structure has a Southern Chinese architecture.
To get to the Hean Boo Thean Temple from Weld Quay, head southwest on Weld Quay toward Gat Lebuh Armenian until you see the big building named Wisma KGN. Turn left toward Lebuhraya Merdeka. Look out for directional signs going to the temple. Turn left down side road; walk through the small alleys going to the Merdeka Reclaimed Area, towards Yeoh Jetty.
Hean Boo Thean Temple is a favourite among nature photographers. The sea and the clan jetties as background, the colourful lanterns and dragon statues, all contribute to a beautiful backdrop. The green lights at night make it more elegant when mixed in with all the lights inside and outside of the temple. To get a full front view of the temple, you can photograph it from the Chew Jetty, or get its side view from the Tan Jetty.
Address: Reclamation Area, 52, Pengkalan Weld, George Town, 10300 Penang
Phone: +60111080 6362