Yueh Hai Ching Temple, Singapore

4.2
#35 of 57 in Historic Sites in Singapore
Yueh Hai Ching Temple, also known as the Wak Hai Cheng Bio from its Teochew pronunciation, is a Chinese temple in Singapore located in Raffles Place in Singapore's central business district. The temple, whose name literally means "Temple of the Calm Cantonese Sea", was the first stop for Chinese immigrants to Singapore in the early 19th century.HistoryThe early history of Yueh Hai Ching temple is obscured. Multiple narratives provide conflicting accounts on the date the temple was first constructed. Some traced the history of the temple to as far back as to 1738. The general consensus is that the temple was first put up in 1820 as a simple wood and attap temple. In 1826, pioneer of Man Say Soon Company, Lim Poon erected a shrine on the same site on Phillip Street with a 999-year lease. It was managed by a board of trustees consisting of 14 members. The shrine was constructed so that sailors sailing between Singapore and China during the 19th century could offer their prayers and gratitude for their safe journey. This is reflected in the temple’s name, which translates as “Temple of the Calm Sea Built by the Guadong People”. Phillip Street was once near the sea, so that sailors could head to the temple immediately after docking. Due to land reclamation, the temple was effectively distanced from the shore.When Ngee Ann Association was formed in 1845, it took over the management from Many Say Soon Company. Between 1852 and 1855, the present temple was constructed. In 1895, Ngee Ann Association submitted a building plan which called for substantial rebuilding of the temple. By the late 19th century, was the second largest and most influential of the Chinese dialect groups after Fujian. Besides being a place of worship, Yueh Hai Ching Temple also acted as a community centre and a meeting place. According to historian Pan Xing Nong, on 26 June 1994, the president of Ngee Ann Association then called for prayers at the temple for the impending World War I. As such, the temple played an important role in the everyday life of the Teochew community. It was where people socialized and exchanged news. It served as a place of congregation for immigrants from the same province to provide mutual support for each other.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
16 reviews
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4.3
TripAdvisor
  • July 21, 2017
    What a great little temple that is not on the tourist map but should be. The carvings are of a much higher detail than I have seen in most temples and not long ago the place was fully restored at a pr...  more »
  • June 25, 2017
    It is a place to visit, it's very pretty. With a guide, or someone around here is better because there are plenty of things to learn, brief is not only to do for the pleasure of the eyes but to discover really to learn many things.
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  • June 10, 2017
    Yueh Hai Ching Temple or "Safe Voyage for the Guandong People" temple is Singapore's oldest Teochew temple built by immigrants from China. Situated in the heart of the financial district and surrounde...  more »
Google
  • May 11, 2017
    We had a great visit at the Love Temple. My first time to meet a sacred turtle. Very cool!
  • June 10, 2017
    Yueh Hai Ching Temple or "Safe Voyage for the Guandong People" temple is Singapore's oldest Teochew temple built by immigrants from China. Situated in the heart of the financial district and surrounded by skyscrapers, one actually stumbles upon it by noticing its very unique roof. The temple was completed in 1855 and comprises twin prayer halls for Mazu and Xuan Tian Shang Di. Its noticeable for its very elaborate roof sculptures. It is well maintained and artisans were brought from China for the renovations. It has a rich history of the Teochew people. It was rather empty when we visited.
  • December 30, 2016
    Finally stepped in and looked at the design and building. Very curious how a temple like this can withstand Singapore development and still remain where it is. Asked the caretaker and understand the effort of the Teochew clan effort under Ngee Ann association to preserve this place. Glad there is a group of people willing to keep it going. A place full of Singapore Teo Chew cultures and history. Worth spending some time to appreciate it..:)
  • September 22, 2016
    Very interesting and old temple in cbd. Must visit.
  • May 16, 2017
    one of historically important temple in Singapore

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