Hong San See

Hong San See

Built between 1908 and 1913, the Hong San See temple is a significant cultural and historical landmark in singapore. Established by the Hokkien community, this temple holds great importance to the Chinese population in the country. The name “Hong San See” translates to “Temple on Phoenix Hill” in Chinese, which perfectly captures the essence and beauty of this magnificent structure.

The Hong San See temple is dedicated to Guang Ze Zun Wang, a deity worshipped by the Hokkiens. It serves as a place of worship and a symbol of spiritual devotion for the community. Over the years, it has become a place of solace and tranquility, offering a peaceful escape from the bustling city life.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Hong San See temple is its superb restoration. Despite being surrounded by modern high-rise buildings, this temple has managed to retain its original grandeur. Its beautifully preserved form is a perfect example of southern Chinese-style temple architecture. The temple’s axial planning, courtyards, walled enclosures, and beam-frame structure are all traditional features of this architectural style. However, what truly sets this temple apart is its exceptional carpentry. The entire roof of the temple is constructed without the use of any nails, showcasing the incredible craftsmanship of the builders.

As you enter the temple, you are greeted by the sight of dancing dragons and phoenixes. The granite columns, adorned with intricately carved figures of dragons, peonies, magpies, and phoenixes, add a touch of grandeur to the temple’s interior. These carvings are a testament to the rich symbolism and cultural significance attached to these mythical creatures in Chinese folklore. Additionally, the temple showcases the art of chien nien, which involves creating figures from porcelain. This delicate porcelain ornamentation, along with elaborate plaster relief work on the eaves and roof, adds a sense of opulence to the temple.

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The Hong San See temple holds a special place in Singapore’s history as it was gazetted as a national monument in 1978. This recognition is a testament to the temple’s cultural and historical importance. In order to ensure its preservation, an extensive renovation was undertaken from 2006 to 2010. Technical consultants and craftsmen from China were brought in to restore the temple to its former glory. The meticulous restoration work earned the temple the prestigious Award of Excellence in the 2010 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. This accolade is a testament to the dedication and commitment of those involved in the restoration process.

Visiting the Hong San See temple is a truly unique experience. It allows visitors to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of the Chinese community in Singapore. The temple’s serene atmosphere provides a sense of calm and tranquility, making it an ideal place for spiritual reflection and contemplation. Whether you are a believer or simply interested in exploring different cultures, a visit to the Hong San See temple is a must.

In conclusion, the Hong San See temple stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the Hokkien community in Singapore. Its superb restoration, intricate carvings, and impressive architectural features make it a captivating sight for locals and tourists alike. The temple’s recognition as a national monument and its prestigious UNESCO award further highlight its significance in Singapore’s history. A visit to the Hong San See temple is an opportunity to immerse oneself in the beauty and spirituality of Chinese culture, while also appreciating the remarkable craftsmanship of the past.

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Address And Location:


31 Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore 238975

  • Operating Hours

    Daily 8am-6pm


  • 31 Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore 238975

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