22 Photos to inspire you to visit Kek Lok Si Temple in Malaysia

22 Photos To Inspire You To Visit Kek Lok Si Temple

Buddhist Temples are plentiful in SE Asia! This particular temple, found in Malaysia, is located on the island of Penang at the edge of Air Itam. Kek Lok Si sits perched atop jungle slopes facing the sea and spans an impressive 30 acres full of gardens, prayer halls and pavilions, a Pagoda, and a nearly 100-foot statue. It is home to Mahayana Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, and traditional Chinese rituals and its name means “Temple of Supreme Bliss”. While the temple has become quite commercialized, particularly at the entrance, it is still worth the visit! You’ll easily spend two hours wandering about and marveling at all that is around you.

Check out these 22 photos to inspire you to visit what’s said to be the largest Buddhist Temple in Malaysia. Maybe you’ll be so inspired you’ll want to visit in person! If so, check out the great guide we used to get there from Migrationology. They even have some awesome food ideas to make sure you don’t go hungry along the way 😉

22 Photos To Inspire Your Visit

View of Kek Lok Si in the distance as we walked up from the bus stop

Even just walking up to Kek Lok Si after we hopped off the public bus was an inspiring experience. You can see how enormous this temple is from a distance and how stunning the architecture is!

Arriving at the temple you'll find the tortoise pond first with a view of the temple behind

Arriving at the base, you’ll first find the tortoise pond with a view of the temple, statue, and pagoda.

Walking up to the temple at Kek Lok Si you will first see this bridge covering a small stream

Turning around you’ll see a continuation of the same architecture with a small bridge crossing a stream. Once you’re done marveling it’s time to head up the hill!

The jungle in Air Itam that borders the Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang, Malaysia

As you start your climb, you’ll immediately notice the lush jungle that surrounds this 30-acre plot of land. While Kek Lok Si itself is beautiful, the fact that it’s set in a jungle makes it even more spectacular to us (as nature lovers!).

Kek Lok Si Temple, the largest buddhist temple in Malaysia, above the hills in Penang

Your first encounter (past the tortoise pond anyway) is this magnificent building. Just make sure to take your shoes off before you enter. You’ll often find monk inside who are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Incense burning outside the temple at Kek Lok Si

As with many temples, just outside the entrance, you will find Joss Sticks, or incense, burning as a sacred offering.

After entering the first part of the temple you have multiple options on where you'd like to go next

Continuing your journey deeper into the wonders of this magical place you’ll come across one of the center gardens with a miniature pagoda.

Temple at Kek Lok Si with a view of the Pagoda

As you get closer to this mini-pagoda you’ll notice a larger one on the hill above you. Don’t  worry, we’ll make it there too 🙂

Kek Lok Si Temple, the largest buddhist temple in Malaysia, above the hills in Penang

As you walk around you’ll find statues, colorful entrances, and a myriad of buildings.

Kek Lok Si Temple, the largest buddhist temple in Malaysia, above the hills in Penang

There are intricately carved statues hidden in different walls – there’s something nearly everywhere you look!

City views and sky scrapers in the distance behind the Kek Lok Si Temple

We enjoyed staring off into the distance at the city and jungle beyond the Temple’s boundary and felt a bit like we were on top of the world.

City views at Kek Lok Si Temple, the largest buddhist temple in Malaysia, above the hills in Penang

What a stunning view!

Kek Lok Si Temple, the largest buddhist temple in Malaysia, above the hills in Penang

As you make your way towards the tall statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, you can walk the road (it’s not far), or take the elevator built into this building.

Wishing ribbons at Kek Lok Si In Penang Malaysia - Air Itam

Along the way, you’ll find ribbons hanging to pass along wishes and prayers. You’re welcome to add your own and will see many doing so after giving a donation.

Kuan Yin Statue at Kek Lok Si Temple, the largest buddhist temple in Malaysia, above the hills in Penang

The statue of Kuan Yin is a sight to behold. The statue towers over you and the rest of the city below. It was under restoration when we visited so we can only imagine how magnificent it will be when done!

Looking out over city from the statue at Kek Lok Si in Penang Malaysia

Opposite the statue, you can look over the skyline of the skyscrapers. Even on cloudy days the view is spectacular.

The pagoda at Kek Lok Si, the largest Buddhist Temple in Malaysia

Last, but certainly not least, you’ll find yourself at the Pagoda built in 3 different architectural styles. The bottom section is Chinese, the middle is Thai, and the top is Burmese. Do you notice the difference?

Looking around the side of the Pagoda at Kek Lok Si temple in Penang Malaysia

Before you begin climbing the pagoda – yes you get to go up to the top! – enjoy walking around the base which offers beautiful gardens.

From the different floors int he pagoda you get amazing views of the city and landscape below

After enjoying the gardens you’ll begin your climb inside the pagoda stopping on every floor to take in the view.

View of the temple below from the top of the Pagoda at Kek Lok Si

As you gaze at the temple from the pagoda you start to understand just how large it is.

Kek Lok Si Temple, the largest buddhist temple in Malaysia, above the hills in Penang

You’ll also see the statue of Kuan Yin perched on the hillside along with the living quarters.

Kek Lok Si Temple, the largest buddhist temple in Malaysia, above the hills in Penang

The views from the top of the pagoda are spectacular!

Need more convincing? We created a short little video of our time meandering through this lovely place 🙂

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Life Is Meant For Exploring

At Life Is Meant For Exploring we help promote and inspire a life of exploration with a focus on travel, outdoor adventure, experiencing local culture, and breaking away from the pack to forge a path of your very own. Our promise is to share crazy and honest stories, epic photography, thoughtful reflections & culturally respectful realities. Whether you’re traveling the world, sitting in your backyard, or looking for a fresh start, our goal is to show you how to enjoy life one adventure at a time.

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