Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang

Friday, March 11, 2016

I recently went on a weekend trip to Penang with a bunch of friends. 10 of us drove down from KL in 3 cars and took our time to eat, hang out, enjoy the sights and eat some more. 


One of the places we visited was Kek Lok Si at Air Itam in Penang.

If you didn't already know, Kek Lok Si is one of Penang Island's most popular temples. The temple was inspired by the Goddess of Mercy and has a seven storey main pagoda with 10 000 Buddhas. There is also a 30m tall bronze statue of the Goddess of Mercy that is open to the public as well.

To be honest, I didn't know a thing about the places we were going to visit. My friends were the ones coming up with the itinerary and I was just there to tag along. Honestly, if it were up to me, I'd probably visit some of the local museums too. Nevertheless, it was a fun trip. 


It was a hot day and we were stuck in traffic on the way to the temple. When we were going up the hill, we missed the entrance to the temple and accidentally drove up to the entrance to the Goddess of Mercy statue. 

My car, an old Honda Matrix couldn't take the strain of having to pull 5 of our fat asses up the hill. So make sure your car has a better engine and has at least been serviced. Or basically, just make sure your car isn't as ancient as mine is. hahaha

My poor Matrix was basically crying its way up the steep hill. Nothing like the smell of burning rubber mixed with the cool breeze to start your day. Never again.

We made our way down to the entrance of Kek Lok Si temple, parked then braved the sweltering heat to snap some pictures. 

**Edit: My brother told me that there are actually a bunch of stairs leading up to the temple where you can pass a wishing fountain full of turtles. I remember passing this fountain way back when I was still in primary school during my trip there with my parents. The stairs are full of vendors selling a number of things from cheap electronics to cool t-shirts. I might take this route up to the temple next time. >,<

Make sure to look for the entrance in the picture below if you're driving up like we were. It's very easy to miss it while driving up the winding road. Especially when you're dying from the heat and your car is struggling to lug you and your friends up the hill.


It was VERY hot. Sweltering. I swear it felt like my skin was boiling off from the UV rays. Hello there, skin cancer.  Still, I managed to brave the steps up towards the upper area of the temple to take some pictures. However, only 3 of us (Usha, Islam and I) trudged up the short staircases in search for a better view. 


I wasn't interested in the view however. I just wanted to look at the beautiful statues and architecture. I would have taken pictures of the various statues in and around the temple, but it probably would've been disrespectful (be mindful of the 'No Photography' signs). So I leave you to experience that for yourself if you do decide to visit Kek Lok Si.

Instead, here are some of the other pictures I managed to snap during my visit to the temple.  (๑✪ᆺ✪๑)









Entrance to the temple is free, which means it's a great destination for the frugal traveller. In some areas, you have to take off your shoes. So wear something that's easy to slip on and off. Also, be mindful of the 'No Photography' signs (Yes, mentioning this again. Don't be that asshole). They're there but they're very easy to ignore and miss.

If you happen to visit the temple on a hot day like we did, there is a small store underneath the temple next to the car park. They sell ice cream, drinks, snacks and souvenirs.

The upper level of the temple was cordoned off as they were doing renovations on it. I might just come back to take another look. (=✪ ᆺ ✪=)

Overall, it was a good trip to Kek Lok Si. Wish I didn't sweat like a pig as much but it was worth the experience and the pictures. This place is a definite must-visit for anyone who loves to look at cool architecture and immerse themselves in culture.

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Information

Opening Hours; Open Daily. 9am - 6pm

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