Category Archives: temples in penang

Roommates Guesthouse Penang April Promotion!

Honestly speaking, this Guesthouse has to be given credit for making the effort to spruce up the backpacking scene in Penang, Malaysia.

Free local palm wine on Wednesdays, Haunted Tours around Penang for the Month of Cheng Beng, and student discounts are among the few things that they have managed to come up with.

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Magnificent April promotions and events that will guarantee to get your heads bobbing!!

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Kek Lok Si Temple during Chinese New Year is worth the visit

Chinese New Year is a celebration celebrated by all Chinese in the world, and of course in Penang, to celebrate the start of a new year. Chinese New Year or CNY on short, falls in end January to early February

The Kek Lok Si Temple or otherwise known as “Temple of Supreme Bliss” or “Temple of Sukhavati” is a Buddhist temple situated in Air Itam in Penang and is one of the best known temples on the island. It is the largest Buddhist temple complex in Southeast Asia. The temple is heavily commercialised with shops at every level and inside the main temple complexes.

Most visitors approach the temple as they ascend a stairway, roofs of which provide shelter to a multitude of shops selling souvenirs and other – mostly secular – commodities. They pass by a so-called Liberation Pond, following the buddhist tradition of merit-making, turtles may be released into freedom, albeit a limited one.

The temple itself consists of several large halls for assembly and prayer, here, statues of Buddha, various Bodhisattvas as well as Chinese gods are being venerated.

The Pagoda you see lighted up is the Pagoda of the 10,000 Buddhas. It was built in 1930. This 7 storey Pagoda combines a Chinese octagonal base with a middle tier of Thai design, and a Burmese crown; reflecting the temple’s embrace of both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.  After climbing up the spiral top, you will have a scenic view of Air Itam Town below.

Intricate woodwork, often brightly painted and a plethora of lanterns add to the visual impression. During Chinese New Year, for an entire month, the entire temple will be lighted up with 100,000 lanterns and lights and these decorations could be seen from a few kilometers away. During this time, the temple will be open to the public till late in the night!

There is an inclined lift to carry pilgrims and visitors further uphill. On the elevated platform, you can find a pond filled with Koi and the towering statue of Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy, which can also be regarded as Avalokitheshvara, Bodhisattva of Universal Compassion.

In 2002, a 30.2m bronze statue of the Kuan Yin was completed and opened to public. It replaced the previous white plaster Kuan Yin statue which was damaged due to a fire a few years earlier. The bronze statue is located on the hillside above the pagoda while the head of the previous statue which survived the fire is preserved and placed on the right hand corner of the new statue.

Getting here:
 Rapid Penang Bus 201, 203, 204, 206, 306 and U502. Check the Rapid Penang Bus Route for details, map and time table. The most convenient bus stop is located along Jalan Pasar, at the foothills of the temple. Jalan Pasar is a one-way street. Walk following the traffic flow until you reach a T-junction. You can see Kek Lok Si towering to the left side. Turn left and walk in its direction.

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Backpacking Penang @ Wat Chaiyamagalaram Thai Buddhist Temple

Wat Chaiyamangalaram is located on Burma Lane.

There are two temples here on Burma Lane, one is a Thai Buddhist Temple which is Wat Chaiyamangalaram and the one opposite is the Burmese Buddhist Temple – Dhammikarama Temple.

We will first visit Wat Chaiyamangalaram, home of the purportedly “Worlds 3rd longest Sleeping Buddha”. Visiting hours are 7am to 6pm. Main shrine hall is open from 8 am to 5pm. Bus 103 will take you here.

Entrance to the "Worlds 3rd Longest Reclining Buddha in the World"

Entrance to the main shrine hall is guarded by larger than life deities and dragons

Towering guardian dieties. Similar structures are common in thailand. A good example is at Suvarnabhum Airport!

Flowing body of the guardian dragon

the tale of Two deities

One of the shrine halls. Love it that the brightly lit doors seem to be leading to heaven?

Temple Diety @ Wat Chayamangalaram Penang

Supposedly the "worlds third longest sleeping Buddha in the world" I wonder why some Muslims dislike entering places of worships for other religions. These middle eastern tourists seem to be having fun visiting this temple.

Devotees will place golden leaves on the Buddha statues and make prayers

deities of the temple

the entire base of the sleeping Buddha is decorated with paintings from the scenes of his life

Beneath the sleeping Buddha is a Columbarium! Where they store the remains of dead devotees

Buddha statues guarding the remains of dead devotees

various drawings depicting the times of the Buddha or representations of the heavens, hell and the human world

The wheel of Dhamma on the foot of the Buddha statue

The Wheel of Dhamma or Dharmacakra is translated as wheel of doctrine or wheel of law or the teaching of the Buddha.

Decorated tiles with lillies

When Lord Buddha was born, his mother Queen Maya and her son were showered with perfumed blossoms, and two streams of sparkling water poured from the sky to bathe them. The infant stood, and took seven steps on the water lillies, and proclaimed “I alone am the World-Honored One!”

Another shrine outside which features the Four faced Buddha that is similar to the Erawan shrine in Bangkok!

This temple alone wasn’t worth the visit, but because Dharmikarama Temple was just opposite , it was worth our time. 😀 As taking the bus can be really time consuming.

If you are following a tour, they might include this temple in the tour as well.

We forgot to mention that the entrance is free. We hope you have fun backpacking!

Visit us at for more free budget information.


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