There’s the Blue Mosque in Turkey and then there’s the Tanjung Bungah Floating Mosque. Both are beautiful mosques with the latter a lesser known one but unique in its own right.
The Tanjung Bungah Floating Mosque is situated in the northern suburb of Tanjung Bungah, Penang, a small island in north-east of peninsular Malaysia. Although the name suggests that the mosque is floating, it is actually built on steel pilings driven into the seabed approximately 50 metres from shore so it appears to float on the sea when the tide is high.
The mosque was built to replace the old mosque near it which was too small for the increasing congregation due to the population growth in Tanjung Bungah. It was completed in early 2005 at a cost of approximately USD5 million and can accommodate a congregation of 1,500 at any one time. Architecturally, it is inspired by West Asian architecture with Turkish influences throughout.
The mosque has become a very popular tourist attraction with foreign tourists from among others, Korea, Japan and Europe having visited the mosque. Locally, the mosque receives many interstate visitors and recently, even students from an international school as part of an inter-faith educational field trip.
All are welcome to the mosque with simple tours conducted free of charge. Visitors are required to be properly attired i.e. longs for both men and women with the additional requirement that women cover their heads with a scarf. The mosque also provides robes, scarves and sarongs if you’re not properly attired. Insider tip: ask the person giving you the tour if you can go to the top of the mosque’s sole minaret which stands 7 storeys high for a breathtaking view of the sea and surrounding hills. We’ve been told that some tourists have been allowed to do that.
Not to be missed!
Address: Jalan Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Penang
Phone: +60 4 899 0838
Hours: If you’re there just for the tour, we recommend going between 10am – 1pm or 2.30pm to 4.30pm daily to avoid the times when the congregation observes their prayers. Approach the person at the front desk.