The oldest Taoist temple in Kuala Lumpur, the Sin Sze Sin Ya Temple lies almost hidden behind a row of old shop houses along Jalan Tun H.S.Lee. 

Even so, its gates, embossed with Chinese characters and flanked by sculptures of dragons and phoenixes, never fail to attract passers-by. 

Aromatic smoke from incense coils that are hung behind the main entrance beckons one to further explore the 140-year-old temple, which is more popularly known as Sze-Ya Temple. 

The temple was founded by Yap Ah Loy, Kuala Lumpur's third Kapitan China, in remembrance of his mentor, Seng Kong, a tin tycoon killed in one of frequent feuds between tycoons from Kuala Lumpur and Seremban. 

Yap donated part of his coconut plantation and 500 dollars to set up the temple at the backyard of his residence (located near where Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank is now). 

The temple was originally a small hut and was rebuilt in 1881. 

It was named "Sze-Ya", meaning "adviser", to reflect Seng Kong's role among his people and his charitable nature. 

Endowed with elaborately carved pillars, beams, altars and decorative items as well as paintings and photographs, the temple is a treasure trove of antiques and artworks that reflect the local Chinese's unique culture. 

The building is dominated by green roofs, red beams and brownish tiles tinted by time, and houses the sculptures of patron deities Sin Sze-Ya and Si Sze-Ya, said to have guided Yap Ah Loy when defeating his enemies in defence of Kuala Lumpur during the Civil War (1870-1873). 

A number of other deities are also worshipped at the temple, including the Goddess of Mercy, or Guan Yin, the Deity of Education Man Cheong, the White Tiger Pak Foo (worshipped by those who fear defamation), Thai Soi, Choi Sun and Choi Pak Seng Kuan (worshiped by businessmen for better fortune). 

Some spaces on the altars are dedicated to Yap Ah Loy as well as the soldiers who died in the Civil War. 

The temple is packed with worshippers during festivals and on special days in the Lunar Calendar. But to many, it is not only a place for prayers, but also a priceless heritage that testifies to the contributions of the Chinese community to the country's capital. 

It also serves to remind the younger generations of their roots, as well as the perseverance and determination of Yap Ah Loy. 

Over the past decades, the temple has been donating substantial amounts - two-third of worshippers' contributions collected, about RM1mil a year - to charity and education. 

This year, the temple will experience some changes in its administration. Its trustee board of 12 members will take over the temple again, which had been leased out to the temple keeper for the past 100 years. Practices will remain the same while a larger part of its collection will be channelled out to benefit the needy

Opening Hours 8:30a.m  - 5.00p.m
Admission Fees

Free admission

Website View Website
Address 14 Leboh Pudu, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Contact 03-2072 9593 
Google Map View
Key Attractions oldest Taoist temple , Yap Ah Loy

Ah Yap Hokkien Mee
Food Rating:   4 Star

KTZ Dessert
Food Rating:   5 Star

Chili Pan Mee
Food Rating:   5 Star
Ah Yap Hokkien Mee
Sentul Ah Yap Hokkien Mee Restaurant
Open Hours-
Address744, Jalan Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, Sentul, 51000
MapView Map
Food Rating4 Star
Price3 Star
Enviroment3 Star