Thursday, January 17, 2008
Places of worship, Betong area
Fung San Shu, Saratok is about a century old now. Permanent settlement first started in Saratok around 1888, It was said that a businessman from Kabong (about 50 km from Saratok) migrated here in the early 20th Century; and he brought along the deity worship here.
Like many of the histories of Chinese temples & small townships in Sarawak, fire incidents were not uncommon since most the earlier shoplots were not concrete structure & temples were normally found among these wooden shoplots.
The present temple is the third location, planned in the 80s and completed in 1993, ever since the original temple was found in the early 20th Century near the river bank.
In the 1920s and 1930s, there were about 20 wooden shoplots in Saratok, the late 1930s fire had destroyed most of them, though the temple was unharmed. Later on, 56 double storey wooden shoplots were built & the temple was shifted to a 2nd location in 1940s due partly to erosion near the river.
Saratok, around 1971 A.D.
In June 1970, major fire broke out again in Saratok, 28 of the 56 shoplots were destroyed. The current concrete shoplots were built in 1973 to replace most of the destroyed wooden structure. The temple was then again moved to the present site in 1993.
Every year, 22nd day of 2nd Month of lunar calendar, the temple will hold celebration of the host deity birthday; the 1993 celebration was grand as it marked the completion of the new temple on a new site. Devotees from surrounding areas, as far as Kuching, flocked to Saratok to join the occasion.
Present Saratok Wet Market, from the balcony of Fung San Shu.
Saratok is now a major town in Betong division, it is the 2nd largrest town in the Sri Aman & Betong divisions, though it was not chosen as the capital earlier when the area was declared a separate administrative division.
Saratok Buddhist Association, on a hilltop in Saratok.
Shang Ti Temple, Betong, about 50 km from Saratok.
Tian Yin Gong, Roban, about 20 km from Saratok.
Leang Shen Temple, Spaoh; between Betong & Saratok.
Fou Lung Temple, Pusa; about 15 km from the junction of Betong/Saratok highway.