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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sam Po Kong (三宝宫/三宝洞), Semarang (三宝垄)

A cave where Admiral/Lasamana Cheng Ho (Zhenghe according to standard pinyin) repeatedly stayed while visiting Semarang.  This is a major pilgrimage spot for the Chinese of Semarang, to whom Cheng Ho (郑和), also known as the Eunuch of Three Jewels (三保太监), has become a god.  (The Chinese of a number of places in southern China and across Southeast Asia have also adopted early pioneering heroes as local protection gods, such as the Tua-Bei-Kong of Malayan Peninsula, Fubo Generals of Hainan and various deities of Nanan and Zhangzhou of Fujian.)   Cheng Ho is so important that a number of places in Southeast Asia have been named after him by the local Chinese.

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