Tua Pek Kong Temple


A modest wooden structure existed on the site of this colourful riverfront Taoist temple as far back as 1871; it was rebuilt in 1897 but badly damaged by Allied bombs in 1942. For panoramic views over the town and the muddy Batang Rejang, climb the seven-storey Kuan Yin Pagoda, built in 1987; the best time is just before sunset, when a swirl of swiftlets buzzes around the tower at eye level. The tower closes to visitors just before it gets dark. Ask for the key at the ground-floor desk.

The temple grounds feature exquisite stone carvings, shady trees and places to sit and catch the breeze as the river traffic beetles past. Anchored outside the temple and visible from the pagoda are 'floating supermarkets': boats used to transport supplies to upriver longhouses.

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