Singapore, Singapore ~ 1826
Wak Hai Cheng is the "oldest Teochew temple in Singapore." It is a "Taoist temple constructed with rosewood imported from China". Wak Hai Cheng, meaning temple of the calm sea, is located in between the many skyscrapers of Singapore’s financial district. Built by the Guangdong people in 1826, this temple is a little over 175 years old and was "the first stop for Chinese immigrants in the early 19th century." However in 1845, the Ngee Ann Kongsi people took over the temple site, and obtained funds from the Teochew community to construct a new temple which would "become a symbol of the Teochews' growing eminence in Singapore." Ultimately it was rebuilt in 1895 (Wak Hai Cheng Bio).
Wak Hai Cheng demands attention from by passers due to its "imposing entrance and wide courtyard" (Ibid). "This small shrine was maintained by Teochew traders and sailors who thanked the gods for safe journeys at sea." It was “designed by Chinese craftsmen" and currently possesses fascinating features such as two wings that are connected by a shared wall and distinct entrances from the wings to the courtyard (Wak Hai Cheng Temple). Also this ancient temple has "legendary Chinese figures engraved in the walls" and donated wooden tablets containing beneficial characters and documents (Wak Hai Cheng Bio). Furthermore, the interior design of this Taoist temple is unique because it contains "bas-reliefs from Chinese traditional opera stories," wooden carvings and statues, and terracotta floors (Wak Hai Cheng Temple).
The Wak Hai Cheng Temple is divided into two sections. One is dedicated to "Tua Lau Yah or Heavenly Father and another to Ma Zhou or Heavenly Mother." It's not only a tourist attraction, but also draws civilians who simply want "to pray for safety and luck." It’s most visited on "the 1st and 15th day every month of the Lunar calendar, and the 3rd and 23rd days of the third month, which celebrate the birthdays of the Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother" (Wak Hai Cheng Bio).