In Malaysia’s multi-cultural society, each culture has its own daily rituals and religious festivities. Many of them have places of worship at their centre, and the Chinese have temples. Each temple has its own history and architectural style. There’s no better place to start learning more about these varied methods (or maybe simply snapping some great ‘gramme images) than with these…
1.Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur (KL)
The Shrine of the Goddess of Heaven is another name for the six-tiered Buddhist temple. This temple in KL isn’t only famous for the red lights gracing its outside façade; it’s also a shrine for devotees to pray to Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. It has a grand entryway with crimson pillars, dragon-inspired columns, and pagoda roofing, and it houses intricate components of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, as well as contemporary architectural characteristics and classic elaborate carvings.
Discover its contemporary pagoda and the octagonal hall encased with Buddha statues as you go further. If you want to relax in the sun, take a stroll through the Chinese medicinal herb garden and sit by the turtle pond.
Opening Hours: Daily, 9am to 6pm
Address: 65 Persiaran Endah, Off Jalan Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur
2.Chetawan Buddhist Temple, Petaling Jaya
Wat Chetawan, as it is sometimes known, is a Thai Buddhist temple that was made renowned by the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s royal grant for its construction in 1957. The Chetawan Buddhist Temple is the only one of its sort to have the late Thai king’s royal symbol on the main temple edifice, which was graced during a state visit in 1962.
The temple is also the sole Malaysian-Siamese temple designated to house the precious relics of Buddha for all Malaysian Buddhists. The main shrine is plated in gold leaves and artistically embellished with multi-colored glass tiles, making it a devotional centre for Malaysian Siamese and non-Thai followers.
Opening Hours: Daily, 9am to 2pm
Address: No 24, Jalan Pantai 9/7, Seksyen 10 Petaling Jaya, 46000, Selangor
3.Chin Swee Cave Temple, Genting Sempah
Locals frequently visit the Taoist temple, which is situated on a 28-acre parcel of rocky wooded terrain, on their way up to the City of Entertainment or as a day excursion in and of itself. It was built in honour of Reverend Master Chin Swee, a Buddhist monk from Fujian Province who was recognised for his capacity to conjure rain and drive away bad spirits, according to legend.
Explore the portrayal of the Ten Chambers of Hell to learn more about ancient Chinese customs and beliefs. Climb to the top of the nine-story pagoda, which is illuminated by 10,000 blessing lamps put by worshippers. Enjoy the stunning statues or simply visit the observation platform for a breathtaking panoramic view of the mountains.
Opening Hours: Daily, 9am to 6pm
Address: Exit 68, Genting Sempah, 28750 Bentong, Pahang
4.Ling Sen Tong Temple, Ipoh
The temple’s name literally translates to “rock of heavenly spirits” and is located at the foot of a limestone hill in Ipoh, Perak. The temple, which is located right next to the Sam Poh Tong Temple on Jalan Gopeng, features numerous colourful bursts of design, including statues of animals, deities, and Chinese folklore characters, like the fabled Monkey King from the beloved classic novel Journey to the West.
Opening Hours: Daily, 9am to 6pm
Address: Gunung Rapat, 31350, Ipoh, Perak
5.Sam Poh Tong Temple, Ipoh
This temple is one of the oldest and largest cave temples in Ipoh, Perak, and is built beneath a limestone hill of Gunung Rapat. With numerous Buddhist statues among natural stalactites and stalagmites, it is a wonderful temple of art and religion with a 246-step stairway and spectacular views of the city below. Take a stroll around the wonderfully designed pavilion and a captivating landscape garden with a fish pond. Make a wish at the wishing well or feed the Japanese carp and turtles in the pond.
Opening Hours: Daily,7:30am to 2:30pm
Address: Kampung Gunung Rapat, 31350, Ipoh, Perak
6.Kek Lok Si, Penang
Ornate representations of Buddha and hundreds of excellent intricate carvings, sculptures, and paintings adorn the inside and outside of the temple halls, pagodas, and archways. Meanwhile, the pagoda itself is the product of a cultural and historical synthesis of Chinese, Thai, and Burmese influences. The base level is created in a Chinese style, while the middle and top floors are designed in Thai and Burmese styles, respectively.
On your way to the summit, you’ll see the many Buddha styles, shrines, and decorations. Not interested in scaling further heights? Take a trip around the outdoor temple garden, where you may admire the majestic temple, the three-tiered Kek Lok Si Pagoda’s front, and the other beauties.
Opening Hours: 8:30am to 5:30pm
Location: Air Itam, George Town, Penang
Temple: Entrance is free
Incline lift (takes you to the top of the Buddha statue): RM3
7.Snake Temple, Penang
As the name implies, numerous slithering companions may be seen in this temple, making it one of Southeast Asia’s most unusual temples. The temple, which was built in 1950, is dedicated to a Buddhist priest and healer who, history has it, gave sanctuary for wild snakes. When the priest died, it is thought that the snakes who had become the priest’s pupils made the temple their home.
As you enter the temple, you’ll notice a giant incense burner in the centre of the temple hall, surrounded by sculptures and carvings. A snake pool with fruit trees entwined with snakes may be found towards the temple’s rear. The majority of snakes are now kept in glass aquariums and are defanged.
Opening Hours: Daily, 7am to 6pm
Address: Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Bayan Lepas Industrial Park, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang
8.Cheng Hoon Temple, Melaka
The temple is located beside the Hindu temple Sri Pogyatha Vinoyagar along Jalan Hang Lekiu and is one of Melaka’s most well-known monuments (in Jonker Street). It was erected in 1646 and is also known as the ‘Merciful Cloud Temple.’ It is one of the country’s oldest Buddhist sites of worship.
A black, gold, and red-robed figure of Guan Yin, Goddess of Mercy, stands in the centre prayer hall, dedicated to her. Here you’ll find an inspirational narrative of faith and tenacity that has withstood the test of time, as evidenced by its UNESCO prize for exceptional architectural restoration.
Opening Hours: Daily, 7am to 5pm
Address: 25, Jalan Tokong, Kampung Dua, 75200 Melaka
9.Wat Koh Wanararm Temple, Pulau Langkawi
In Bukit Putih, there are eight gold and white Tibetan stupas in a well-kept garden, as well as a huge marble statue of Guan Yin overlooking the region. Sculptures of the Buddha, both large and little, can be found throughout the temple complex. The temple is rarely crowded because tourists to the island are rarely searching for more spiritual excursions, giving it a tranquil and pleasant visit if you wish to explore its grounds during your island holiday.
Opening Hours: Daily, 24 hours.
Address: Jalan Ayer Hangat, Kuah, Langkawi, 07000 Kedah
10.Qi Jian Xian Shi Fo Zu Gu Miao Temple, Kuala Selangor
Qi Jian Xian Shi Fo Zu Gu Miao Temple is a renowned tourist site located beside the Kuala Selangor river. This two-story temple dedicated to Lord Buddha is remarkable in that the upper level is mostly a man-made cave with overhanging stalactites. Here, the god Di Zang Wang Pu Sa is revered. There are also two great stairwells that lead to the top floor. The primary prayer hall is on the bottom floor, with the higher floors designed to resemble a mountain vista.
Address： Selangor, Kuala Selangor, Pasir Penambang, Jalan Feri Lima, Bagan