Jalan Raja Uda

A vibrant and colourful Chinatown of Butterworth

Tow Boo Kong Temple by Adrian Cheah

Snaking along for about three kilometres on a cloistered northern side of Butterworth is a road teeming with human life and activity quite unlike anywhere else in Seberang Perai, the mainland part of Penang. A rich and throbbing array of traditional Chinese temples, markets, kopi tiam or coffee-shops, and vivacious eateries – all reverberating with multitudes of scents, sounds and sights - line the road and dot the adjoining neighbourhoods. Continuing the social and cultural legacy of the early pioneers who developed the settlement here in the last century, the people of Jalan Raja Uda are today witnessing a brilliant rejuvenation – as the social and cultural hub of the Chinese community.

Jalan Raja Uda

Of divine Emperors, Jade tapestries and Dragon's beard candy

Tow Boo Kong Temple

Jalan Raja Uda is veritably the Chinatown of Butterworth. Among its biggest displays is the spectacular stringing of 10,000 silk lanterns over the entire artery in conjunction with Chinese New Year celebrations every year. The red lanterns, all custom-made in the city of Tianjin in China, are suspended in a picturesque manner across the 3.5km long road like a never-ending canopy for motorists and pedestrians alike. 

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Guan Im Deng Temple

An endearing refuge of hope and goodness for common folks

Guan Im Deng Temple by Adrian Cheah

Set on the side-road of Jalan Kampung Paya, which extends westward from Jalan Raja Uda along its southern section, is a temple that is very close to the hearts of local folks. This is especially because the origins of the Guan Im Deng Temple are rooted in compassion and poignant historical links to a rural village in China. 

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Tow Boo Kong Temple

An epic edifice where gods descend on Earth

Tow Boo Kong Temple by Adrian Cheah

This is the most famous place of worship in Raja Uda, and indeed in the whole of Seberang Perai. The intricately designed Tow Boo Kong Temple sited on the northern end of Jalan Raja Uda was built in honour of the Nine Emperor Gods. 

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Hock Teik Soo Temple

Where the god of prosperity watches over the people of Earth

Hock Teik Soo Temple by Adrian Cheah

This temple is commonly known as the Mak Mandin Tua Pek Kong Temple, as it is located on the southern end of Jalan P Patto, very close to the Mak Mandin area. 

It was built for Tua Pek Kong, the Taoist god of prosperity who is revered throughout southern China as well as in Southeast Asia. The temple was established in 1965, with major renovations and construction of the hall taking place in 2009.

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Butterworth Lay Buddhist Society

An aesthetic fusion of philosophy and mystical traditions 

Butterworth Lay Buddhist Society

One of the newest iconic buildings of the Raja Uda area, this temple belonging to the Butterworth Lay Buddhist Society instantly draws attention with its majestic and beautiful dome on the rooftop.

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Public artworks and murals

Unleashing creative energies in the urban realm

Art at Jalan Raja Uda

Jalan Raja Uda may be better known for its food, festivals, temples and streetscapes, but of late a series of fresh creative expressions of art have burst into the scene, adding another novel layer of fascination to the area.

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Guan Yin Ting Dou Mu Gong Temple

A marvellous blend of aesthetics and mythology from ancient China

Guan Yin Ting Dou Mu Gong Temple

Flaunting vibrant and scintillating traditional architecture, this new major religious landmark constructed in 2015 is also remarkable in that it features two main divine maternal deities – the Guan Yin Ting (Goddess Kuan Yin) and the Dou Mu Gong (Goddess Tou Mu Kung).

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Leng Eng Seah Temple

Heirloom from early Chinese pioneers of 150 years ago

Leng Eng Seah Temple by Adrian Cheah

Believed to be established in 1846, this is probably the oldest temple in the Raja Uda area, and certainly one of the oldest in the whole of Penang. The temple is smaller and inconspicuous compared to its neighbour, the grand and famous Tow Boo Kong Temple.

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Datok Kong Teng Sin Hooi Temple

Unique celebration in memory of a religious mystic

Datok Kong Teng Sin Hooi Temple by Adrian Cheah

Not particularly known to the outside world, this enigmatic temple is ensconced off Jalan Ong Yi How, along a hidden and little known road of Jalan Sena 1. It features nine main deities, with the principal one being Datuk Tua, a saintly sage who is believed to have resided in the area in the distant past. It is also known as the 315 Temple as there is a major celebration here on the fifteenth day of the third month of the lunar calendar – in conjunction with the birthday of Datuk Tua. 

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Wat Photichareantam

A historic Buddhist sanctuary gifted by the Siamese of Butterworth

Wat Photichareantam by Adrian Cheah

Located in Sungai Puyu, north of the Raja Uda area, this tranquil and idyllic Siamese temple is nestled amid a lush and peaceful setting, away from the bustle of Butterworth town. 

It was built prior to the Second World War by the Siamese community that once thrived here. Today it is among a handful of other Siamese religious temples and monasteries in the state of Penang, including others in Penanti and Bukit Mertajam on the mainland, and at Burma Road on the island. These were the places where there were important Siamese settlements that have now either dwindled or disappeared.

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Cafes, restaurants, markets places and hawker stalls

Potpourri of delicacies, pub grubs and more, all in one single thoroughfare

Food at Jalan Raja Uda

While Penang island is better known as a food paradise among tourists and local Malaysians alike, the exciting and spectacular gastronomic fare along the 3.5km stretch of Jalan Raja Uda has been a secret hitherto known and appreciated only by Butterworth folks. The diversity of mostly Chinese and western choices available here makes it among the most alluring food destinations in the northern region. These include an array of vegetarian cuisine due to the presents of prominent Toaist and Buddhist temples in the area.

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Butterworth Guide

Butterworth Guide

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