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Yueh Hai Ching Temple

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Yueh Hai Ching TempleYueh Hai Ching Temple (11 September 2010)


Yueh Hai Ching Temple (also transcribed as Wak Hai Cheng Beo) is a Chinese temple in the Financial District of Singapore. Located along Church Street, it is said to be the oldest Taoist temple in Singapore. It was built by the Teochew community, where they came to worship and give thanks to its deity for safe passage from China. The name of the temple means "Temple of the Calm Sea".

The Yueh Hai Ching Temple is believed to have been founded around 1826, and started off as just a humble attap shed. At that time, Philip Street was overlooking the sea. Successive reclamation has extended the shoreline, so that the temple appears surrounded by dry land today. The brick temple was constructed in the 1850's.

The temple was built in the Teochew style. It is in the form of a courtyard entered through an entrance gate, which faces the east (somewhat east, I say, because I find that it is not exactly aligned).In front of the temple building is a paved forecourt. From the foreyard, you can see the looming skyscrapers of Singapore towering all around the temple, an immediate reminder that Singapore has changed dramatically since the time Yueh Hai Ching was first built. The beauty of the temple is somewhat marred by the numerous strings tied across the courtyard to suspend coils of spiral incense. The roof is richly ornamentated with figurines and porcelain models depicting life in Teochew villages "back home".

Entrance archway of Yueh Hai Ching TempleEntrance archway of Yueh Hai Ching Temple (11 September 2010)


There are two principal deities at Yueh Hai Ching Temple, each housed within its respective shrine. The shrine to the right houses the Xuan Tian Shang Di, the Heavenly Emperor, which I believe is akin to the Jade Emperor, the most important deity in the Taoist pantheon. The shrine to the left houses Mazu, also known differently as Tian Hou (Mother of Heavenly Sages), and variously written as Matsu, Ma Chor Po among the Hainanese in Penang and A Ma Temple in Macau. Mazu is the patron deity of seafarers, and is commonly worshipped in other Taoist temples in Singapore including the nearby Thian Hock Keng Temple. The Yueh Hai Ching Temple is open daily from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Contact

Yueh Hai Ching Temple
30B Philip Street, Singapore 048696
Tel: 6533 8537

Getting there

The nearest MRT stations are the Raffles Place MRT Station (EW14 / NS26).

List of the Chinese Temples in Singapore

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