Admiral Zheng He (é„­å’Œ) footprint – Batu Maung, Penang

I had been to this place countless time when I was small.  Mom showed me the footprint of Sam Poh   and as a child, I used to imagine a really huge giant whose feet were planted, one side  in Melaka and one side Penang.  Back then, I did not even know that Melaka is so, so far away from Penang (more than 500KM?)

Today, I made a trip to Batu Maung just to pass time and took some pics.  Back home, I did a little googling and check out Wikipedia’s site.  Oh wow, Admiral Zheng He is a Muslim?

حجّي محمود Hajji Mahmud

Hmm…interesting… There is a Chinese temple dedicated for Admiral Zheng He in Batu Maung, Penang.

There is a statue in the temple which I believe is worship by the fishermen in the area for protection from the seas.

Right in front of the altar, is a little well.  It turns out to be the footprint. People has turned it into a wishing well with coins in there.

Here is a close up of the footprint.  It remember it was way bigger when I was a child.  Now it looks the size of a really big man.  I have never been to the one in Melaka and am not sure if the size is the same.  Anyway, these are just folklores. Otherwise, Admiral Zheng He must be an angry, big man to stomp a huge footprint like that.  Hahaha.

You can read more about Admiral Zheng He or Laksamana Cheng Ho from Wikipedia.  If you are in the mood for more historical read, check out Chinese Muslim site too.The temple is just a tiny one with a nice garden and a beautiful sight of the sea and colourful fishermen boats.

So, if you are curious about a Chinese Muslim worship in a Chinese temple, do make a trip to Batu Maung.  There are signs leading to the temple.  Batu Maung is near the Bayan Lepas International airport and the Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone.

Post Author: Lilian

Food, travel, recipes. Chinese Malaysian, blogger, photographer and writer.

11 thoughts on “Admiral Zheng He (é„­å’Œ) footprint – Batu Maung, Penang


    (September 10, 2006 - 9:35 pm)

    Lilian, thank you so much for this informative and beautiful post on the “San Bao3 Tai4 Jian4” (3 Treasure / Protection Eunuch) Admiral Zheng He. 🙂


    (September 10, 2006 - 10:46 pm)

    u should try Kari Kepala ikan at Pen Mutiara Restaurant.. very near to this place… very very nice kari kepala ikan….


    (September 10, 2006 - 11:04 pm)

    honey – Tks for the tips. Will check the place out next time. I was there around 5.30 pm, meant to go to the aquarium but sudah tutup.

    hanyi – If you come to Penang, I take you there? You mean Zheng He really an eunuch? A very brave eunuch then.


    (September 10, 2006 - 11:45 pm)

    Zheng He was not only a Muslim (his father was the first to convert, and then converted the whole family), he was also Grand Eunuch.


    (September 11, 2006 - 8:17 pm)

    I have a question? or opinion as the case may be. I have no doubt that he was Muslim, but a eunuch? IT GOES AGAINST THE MUSLIM CREED.

    I am of the opinion that in the old days the rakyat say if you want to apply for the Emperors civil service you have to chop off your Cuckoo bird. This is actually so that people don’t convert to Muslim. Therefore cut the balls is actually circumcision???

    I have e-mailed this to Gavin Menzies the guy who wrote the book 1421. Of courselah who am I for him to reply.. but I did my bit to attempt to change history.

    Another things is it is said that the eunuchs carry their pearls (read balls *I*) in a box under their arm pit. Is it actually the Quran they are carrying about but not to be shown to the general public? After all we still call those words the Mutiara Kata (Pearls of Wisdom) or Quotable quotes.

    So why were boys sent to the Palace? In the Muslim history boys were educated from all over the Empire to be educated (Turkish/ Baghdad/ Mamluk-India Empires) tradition. For it to be repeated at the Forbidden City is not unusual.

    Single and Destitute Ladies were sent for protection. Called hareems.

    Please note “Makkah” is also known as “Tanah Haram” (Forbidden City?).

    Being that part of the Muslim Empire would they not also follow its traditions. One degree of misunderstanding can after hundreds of years be very wide, just extend the lines for one hundred years and see how wide


    (September 11, 2006 - 8:22 pm)

    Sorry- boys sent from all over the empire to be educated at the palace.

    Timothy Tye

    (September 13, 2006 - 12:52 pm)

    I wrote about the Sam Poh Foot Print Temple on the AsiaExplorers website here:

    According to historical documentation, Zheng He did not submit to being a eunuch on his own free will; his land was conquered.


    (September 13, 2006 - 2:46 pm)

    Timothy- I doubt anyone would submit willingly!! ouch last time no anaesthetics. Maybe they got really drunk first Or tie hands and legs– he he he, sounds like kinky game gone wrong…


    (September 16, 2006 - 11:53 pm)

    The last time I saw those foot print it was in a open air. some buddhist take the trouble to put some joss stick next to it. Didn’t know they built a temple on it now. Hmm… it doesn’t look as interesting as before.


    (September 25, 2006 - 2:37 pm)

    I didnt know zheng ho came to Pg !

    yr informative site is like a mini Pg encyclopedia,


    (November 22, 2006 - 2:31 pm)

    Thank you for putting up Laksamana Cheng Ho online! I went to the temple a few years ago, during the grand opening of the newly renovated temple.I pity Laksamana for being ‘unethically’ reconverted into a Chinese folk religionist.We Chinese sure have a long istory of hero worship,but i guess many of us were ignorant that he’s a Chinese Muslim.Back to the grand opening story,some Thai monks were invited to bless the temple.Among the prayer items was a *pig’s head!*Then, a Chinese medium went into a trance (I’m not sure who went into him) and instructed the old joss stick urn (a boat shaped stone urn) to be cast into the sea to make way for a new urn (don’t they value antiques?)I guess Laksamana doesn’t mind it as he should understand that it is our way of saying we value him as our folk hero.

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