Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang

Don’t wanna bore you with all the food pictures and make myself sounding like a glutton, I had decided to share with you about my trip to Kek Lok Si Temple while I was in Penang in early of this week. As some of you may have known, I was on CNY holiday trip at the end of last week. The family and I flew in to Kuala Lumpur (KL) via Royal Brunei Airlines in the morning and caught another domestic flight to Penang via Malindo Air.

Our flight from KL to Penang had been rescheduled approximately one week before our departure date. And least did we expect that there’s gonna be another delay after we checked in at Subang International Airport 2 hours before our scheduled departure time. By the time we arrived Penang and checked into Tune Hotel, we were completely exhausted. But both Sister and I managed to head out and order some takeaways for our parents as late dinner.

We woke up early the next morning albeit being extremely exhausted the day before. Had breakfast at Fatty Boy Chicken Rice before heading to Kek Lok Si Temple. We hailed a cab outside Tune Hotel and the ride from Tune Hotel to Kek Lok Si Temple is about 20 minutes with a cab fare of RM30.

Some cab drivers would quote you a price before you hop onto their vehicle. If you think that the amount is reasonable, hop on then. If you don’t, haggle or prepared to find another cab to bring you to your intended destination. But according to Sister, the most reasonable cab fare from Tune Hotel to Kek Lok Si Temple is about RM27? So, RM30 is still considered as reasonable.

We once encountered an unscrupulous cab driver who quoted us a cut throat amount of RM50 from 1Utama to Subang International Airport when the standard metered fare is about RM25 only!

Okay … Back to Kek Lok Si Temple.

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The main temple where the cab driver dropped us. I just realized that I did not take much pictures of Kek Lok Si Temple but this and another one which is much more clearer than this washed out version.

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We went to the main temple in the first picture to give our prayers. We bought a huge pineapple look alike candle. It came in various sizes. But if you wanna pray for the whole family, it’s advisable to go for the big ones rather than the small ones. Mom intended to buy 2 small ones at the price of RM10 each but the lady at the temple advised us to go for the big one as it’s able to accommodate a whole family in the praying while the small one can only accommodate one in the prayer.

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This pineapple look alike candle which my mom was holding costs RM40 each. You will be given a piece of paper to write the names of your parents since it’s for the blessing of the whole family. Bring it around all the god and goddess in the main temple and then place it at the counter top of the goddess in the centre of the temple.

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In the centre of the temple, there’s this cabinet whereby you make a donation of RM2 for a lucky red packet which comes with 2 pieces of mini gold barren like the ones shown on the notice paper in the picture.

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Behind the donation cabinet for mini gold barren was a table of colorful ribbons which you could write your wish on it. It came with various types of “wishing” ribbons. I was a little bit surprised at how ridiculous some of them sounded. But according to Sister, some were probably for use on kids. Each “wishing” ribbon is priced at RM1. Bear in mind that all profits will go into the fund of building and maintaining the temple.

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When you are done writing down your wish on the “wishing” ribbon, hang them on the “tree” provided. I do not know the guy in the picture. He was doing the hanging at the point when this picture was taken.

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We walked to another temple when we were done giving our prayers at the main temple. Along the way to the other temple, we spotted a few beggars sitting at the sides waiting for donations. There was even one whom I encountered looking very pitiful with a few unattended injuries. Not that I am being stingy with giving donation to these homeless folks, but once you started making donation to one of them, majority of them would come forward asking for donations as well.

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A walkway full of hanging lanterns. This was the area whereby we encountered quite a few beggars. Mom made a donation to one of them but that was when this beggar was pretty far away from the others.

One of the things which caught my attention during my Kek Lok Si tour was the flowers blooming in the area. They were very pretty. I am not talking about roses, tulips or any kind of flowers which guys buy for their other halves but pink daisies, chrysanthemum and those which could only be found in the temple when giving prayers.

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This is a Pink Daisy and spotted in the background of the picture is a huge hibiscus. It’s generally a lot bigger than the ones we usually planted at home. Liked how detailed my Sony NEX-3N was able to capture the flower along with the water drops on the Pink Daisy.

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Lotus flower candles on displayed at the side of the pond. Couldn’t remember how much does a piece costs but I think it’s approximately around RM15 to RM20. As usual, write the name of the person whom you wanna pray for or give blessing on the lotus flower candle.

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A school of goldfishes lined up in the pond. When there’s a pond, you’ll definitely see coins lying at the bottom of the pond. Majority people would treat ponds as Trevi Fountain. I even encountered a pond with notice saying that no throwing in of coins to make wishes. LOL!

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Came across these two cute little siblings whereby the younger one was helping the elder sister snapping a picture of herself at the temple.

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A pot of mandarin oranges plant surrounded by various pots of flowers.

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A picture of myself with the golden or perhaps the yellow horse?

If you are interested in flowers, here’s more for your interest!

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Bottle Gourd & Pumpkin

In order to reach the Pagoda, one has to take the cable car which is RM3 per person for a single journey. You could always buy a return journey, which is RM6 per person. One cable car can accommodate about 30 passengers at a time, depending on the size of the cable car though. The first one which we took to the Pagoda can accommodate up to 30 passengers but not the second one which we took from the Pagoda to the ground.

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View around Kek Lok Si Temple, taken from the Pagoda if I am not mistaken.

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Loved this shot as it looked quite artistic to me. And the clear blue sky!

After visiting the Pagoda, we went visiting the Statue of Kuan Yin which is on the right area of Kek Lok Si Temple? Upon arriving at the area, you would be greeted by tables of construction materials for the building of the temple. You can buy a “ceramic roof” at the price of RM30 for a small piece or RM80 for a larger piece.

And as usual, write the name of the master of your family for blessing. And the “ceramic roof” which you bought will later be for the use of constructing the temple. So, it’s like doing a good deed for the construction of the temple.

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Statue of Kuan Yin

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A selfie of both Sister and I at the area of Status of Kuan Yin,

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and a selfie of myself which was photo-bombed by one of the tourist in the process. LOL!

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See these leaves look alike thingy with Chinese characters carved at the bottom of Statue of Kuan Yin? These weren’t cheap at all and they were donated by political figures and businessmen.

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Wondering what these people were doing? They were tossing coins into the larger bowls placed at the bottom of Statue of Kuan Yin. You can buy the pot of 10 cents coins at the counter nearby to the Statue of Kuan Yin for RM21 per pot. I heard it’s for luck spinning or changing. Or what we called it 转运 in Chinese.

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This pretty much ended my half day tour around Kek Lok Si Temple. According to the cab driver who brought us to Kek Lok Si Temple early in the morning, the view of Kek Lok Si Temple is a lot more magnificent in the evening than the day time as the entire area is lit with lanterns and lighting. We did not know that it was opened in the evening so we went during the day.

But Kek Lok Si Temple will be opened all day round during these 15 days of Chinese New Year. However, they will be closed at 6:00p.m. in the evening during normal days after these 15 days of CNY is over.

After leaving Kek Lok Si Temple for the town, we stopped at one of the cafe for lunch. I couldn’t remember what’s the name of the cafe but it serves quite a decent plate of Penang Fried Kueh Tiaw.

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Penang Fried Kueh Tiaw | RM5

I am not a huge fan of bean sprouts. So, I specifically requested to have bean sprout omitted from my plate of Penang Fried Kueh Tiaw and it tasted extremely delicious and good. The “wok hei” was good. Instead of cooking all four in one go, the stall owner cooked all four of our Penang Fried Kueh Tiaw seperately for consistent taste.

The texture of Penang version of Kueh Tiaw was nothing like the ones that we have here in Brunei or perhaps in East Malaysia. Their version is smaller and thinner in size and they were much more chewier than our version. A plate of Penang Fried Kueh Tiaw came with a couple of clams, wax sausages, spring onions and eggs. The amount of sambal paste that goes into the Penang Fried Kueh Tiaw was good as it has the right taste of spiciness but Mom found it to be rather spicy for her liking.

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Char Siew & Roasted Pork Platter | RM15

After our lunch, we headed back towards Kek Lok Si Temple to hail a cab back into Georgetown. Unfortunately, it was during peak hour of the day whereby the town would be bustling with traffic. So, majority cab drivers weren’t so keen into going back to city. As a matter of fact, one of them turned us down. And there was this illegal cab driver who quoted us RM50 for a ride back to Georgetown by telling us that there wouldn’t be any cab driver willing to go into town at this hour.

We waited under the shade for about 10 minutes before deciding that we will take the bus back to the town. We asked one of the locals at the cafe nearby on which bus we could take back to KOMTAR. I think we took Bus 203 from Kek Lok Si Temple into the town at RM2 per person. We saved a total of RM42 by taking the bus instead of taking the deal from the illegal cab driver.

The bus stand is approximately 50m walk from the cafe where we had lunch before looking for a cab to go into town. You can spot a bus stand if you find a 7-Eleven along the way. Instead of getting down at KOMTAR like what I told the bus driver, we got off the bus when we saw Tune Hotel from afar.

My piece of advice, rely on public transportation such as metered taxi or bus services from these tourist sightseeing areas as there are bound to be a few unscrupulous illegal cab drivers who would quote double the price of what metered taxi driver would charge you to bring you to the intended destination.

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