Sunday, February 18, 2007

I went to Kek Lok Si Temple!

Picture from Cuti Malaysia - Penang/Pulau Pinang

This afternoon after lunch, my mom, aunt, and I headed off to Penang. My aunt wanted to visit the Kek Lok Si temple or Temple of Supreme Bliss in Air Itam. I was looking forward to going there too, as I have not been there for many years. Wow, this temple can be considered the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia. I don’t doubt it either. It is huge! There are many steps and I was quite out of breath while climbing up.

As we climbed up those stone steps, we passed lots of souvenir shops selling all kinds of stuff such as clothes, toys, binoculars, food, Buddha statues and other Buddha-related stuff, spectacles, sunglasses, etc. The clothes look exotic and I heard that some are from Indonesia. Some clothes looked like they are from Thailand too. I was more fascinated with the binoculars. I have never used one before and I tested one. Yup, it does help me to look at faraway things. Cool.

We also passed a turtle pond. My auntie bought a bunch of leaves/vegetables and we threw them into the pond for the turtles to eat. There I was standing on the little wooden bridge under the sun, tossing the stalks into the pond. I watched the turtles bite into the stalks I threw in and I was delighted.

On our way to the temple, we also passed a handful of beggars sitting at the side rattling their bowls or tins. There were children beggars too and one child was holding a baby on his lap. I really pity children who have to go out to beg. They are either orphans or their parents put them there to receive more sympathy and therefore earn more money.

I also went to the old temple and it was very smoky there because of all the burning joss sticks. In the temple, we were not allowed to wear shoes. Then, there was also a table full of small gold-coloured ingots. It’s not real gold and they were used as money in ancient China. At the center of the table was a statue of a fat, contented, laughing Buddha.

Picture taken from Ingot - Wikipedia

A middle aged, bespectacled man was sitting by the table and he started explaining about Buddha and the Chinese gold ingot. I listened to him talk about how Buddha was like Robin Hood and that he stole from the rich and gave the money to the poor and to the temples. He also went on about how the Chinese used the gold ingots to buy things because they did not use money currencies like dollars. He explained well and easily caught the attention of the people around him.

We arrived at the temple around 4 something in the afternoon and there were many people there. Most of them were foreigners. I think they are Vietnamese, Burmese, and Europeans. Of course, there were local visitors too. It was quite crowded and it was difficult to walk past the souvenir shops as the path up was narrow and we had to squeeze through. But, when it was nearing 6 pm, the place lessened with people.

Finally, we left the temple and went to one of the shops and ordered food. Then, we continued walking past the shops selling clothes and just browsed around. When we were done browsing, we got into the car and headed for home sweet home. And that was how I spent the first day of Chinese New Year. =)


  1. What a very interesting experience you got there for a Chinese New Year. That is also the purpose of why I got my own blog - to make stories like that. I also like how you present your experience - brief and concise. I wish I can also visit that place you went to. YOur country in particular has also a lot of tourist attractions to offer :)

  2. dodong: Thanks! I enjoyed my visit there and I made sure I saw everything worth seeing! I can't believe that it took me so many years just to go somewhere that is so near. So near and yet so far. Penang is really a good place for tourists.


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