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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Day 3 in Penang on 8 Nov 2010 - Kek Lok Si Temple

My last post on the Penang trip will be about Kek Lok Si Temple, which is probably the most, if not second most (after the snake temple) temple in Penang. As I'd mentioned, the Penang leg of the trip was planned by my CEB. My friend, P, kindly drove us from our hotel to the temple and dropped us off at the base of the hill the temple was built on.

To get to the temple, one has to climb quite a few flight of steps and along the way, many vendors have set up stalls selling nutmeg oil, t-shirts, luopans and all other sort of knickknacks. The encroachment by the vendors of their goods, on the walkway coupled with the number of people stopping to haggle over the price of the goods meant that the climb up was rather claustrophobic and tedious. Not ideal for toddlers and small kids at all.

However, being two rather large adult individuals with lots of time to spare, my CEB and I navigated the stairs in due time. Kek Lok Si is very large and spread over several stations as you will note from the picture of the comprehensive signboard below.

The next few pictures I took are of the sprawling compound and some of the beautifully constructed temple buildings.

I like the picture below in particular because it reminds me of the place where my CEB bought me some kind of 5 coin token at the shop on the first floor. Although I am not a believer at all (cradle Catholic), I accepted the token purely as a gift from him to me.

The newest and grandest attraction at Kek Lok Si however is this massive statue of Kwan Yin. It is impressive in size, if not in color. I much prefer the white kwan yin statue at the temple of ten thousand buddhas in Hong Kong, Sha Tin. This kwan yin statue appears to be almost completed and may probably be open for the public to access at a closer proximity in the future.
And I should mention too, that unless one drives or has iron legs fit to climb a hill, one has to buy a ticket (RM5 each way per pax) to take the cable ride up to view the Kwan Yin statue. The ride is worth the money because one gets to have a view of Penang Town on the way up, and is left with some spare breath to walk around to take some pictures of the garden up there.

In addition to the garden which houses 12 stone statues of the zodiac animals, there is also a small pond and another temple on the same level as the Kwan Yin statue. I wouldn't estimate one spending more than half an hour here unless one is determined to take a photograph of each stone statue, which I say, isn't too badly carved out. So here's tiger...on tiger. :D

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