Penang has a lot of temples and shrines, they are all beautiful and interesting in their own right. One of the most impressive is Kek Lok Si. It is said to be the largest Buddhist Temple in all of Malaysia. The name Kek Lok Si means Temple of Supreme Bliss in Penang Hokkien. It is 30 acres and consists of many gardens, shrines, an impressive 7 story pagoda, and a huge 99 ft statue under and even bigger pagoda and living quarters for the resident monks. It was built from 1890 to 1930 and is a really neat thing to go visit while you are in Penang. You can see it from our back balcony nestled in the hills above George Town.
For the 30 days following Chinese New Year the temple opens at night and is impressively decorated with thousands of lights. We made a trip up their to see it decked out in all its twinkling lights. It did not disappoint.
The Statue of the Goddess of Mercy is impressive. She is 99 feet tall, and sits under a 200 ft tall pagoda. She is at the highest part of the complex and there is a tram that takes you up the hill form the bottom part. She is worth the ride up the hill.
Here is a perspective on how big she is and how big the columns of her pagoda are.
There are tons of lanterns hung for CNY and some pretty incredible views from up there.
There are other shrines here too.
One of the other impressive sites at Kek Lok Si is the pagoda. It is 7 stories high, built in three different styles. It has a Chinese octogonal base, the middle tier is built in the Thai style and has a Burmese crown. It is to represent the religious diversity of Malaysia.
Kek Lok Si is a beautiful place to visit any time of year, but it is spectacular when it is lit up for Chinese New Year.