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
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 base, you’ll first find the tortoise pond with a view of the temple, statue, and pagoda.
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!
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!).
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.
As with many temples, just outside the entrance, you will find Joss Sticks, or incense, burning as a sacred offering.
Continuing your journey deeper into the wonders of this magical place you’ll come across one of the center gardens with a miniature 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 🙂
As you walk around you’ll find statues, colorful entrances, and a myriad of buildings.
There are intricately carved statues hidden in different walls – there’s something nearly everywhere you look!
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.
What a stunning view!
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.
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.
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!
Opposite the statue, you can look over the skyline of the skyscrapers. Even on cloudy days the view is spectacular.
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?
Before you begin climbing the pagoda – yes you get to go up to the top! – enjoy walking around the base which offers beautiful gardens.
After enjoying the gardens you’ll begin your climb inside the pagoda stopping on every floor to take in the view.
As you gaze at the temple from the pagoda you start to understand just how large it is.
You’ll also see the statue of Kuan Yin perched on the hillside along with the living quarters.
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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