When the Chinese migrated to the Malay Peninsular, they brought along their culture and heritage. Cheng Hoon Teng's architecture reflects the skills of migrant builders and craftsmen from China's southern provinces, mainly Fujian and Guandong.

The building conforms strictly to the principles of feng shui, incorporating the fundamental belief that every aspect of life is closely related to attaining perfect harmony with nature. According to granite tablets, the temple was carefully laid out to ensure a view of the river and high ground on either side.

While the Cheng Hoon Teng is representative of the more peasant Southern temple form
there are features that depart from the usual Southern temples found in Malaysia.
Its roof slope attemps to attain a steeper incline than the generally lower and
flatter Fujian form. The flag masts are of dramatic height, beckoning attention.

The temple has three bays rather than one found in most temples, whilst most of the columns
are not circular and are in timber rising from stone bases. Here there is an extensive use
of lacquer. All these elements indicate the uniqueness of this architectural masterpiece.