When I first feasted my eyes upon Kek Lok Si Temple ( 极乐寺: the temple of supreme bliss) I knew this was something unlike anything I had ever seen before in my life. As the largest Buddhist temple in all of South East Asia, the massive complex looms large even from distant vantage points.
Traditional Chinese culture and rituals correspond harmoniously with Mahayana Buddhism in this imposing complex. With support of Chinese consulars the temple was built in 1890 inspired the Goddess of Mercy. What’s fascinating today is that the complex continues to expand fuelled chiefly by donations from wealthy Chinese patrons.
Although the temple is a feast for the eyes it is impossible not to mention how over-commercialized it is in certain sections during the holidays. One can literally at times feel as though they’re in a shopping centre more than a sacred place of worship; however, there are areas where one avoid the hustle and bustle. Also, it’s recommended to book your hotel in Penang in advance for the high season (December to February).
The following is a photo essay capturing Kek Lok Si from a variety of different vantage points throughout the complex:
Burning incense sticks with colourful paper lanterns blurred out in the background.
An upwards perspective shot of a Buddha’s hand.
Colourful red Chinese characters engraved into the rock.
A profile shot of Buddha’s face.
Colourful paper lanterns with Chinese characters.
A lady down on her knees praying.
An imposing sculpture looms large in the background.
Ornamental glass decorations lined up in a row.
Distinct Facial sculptures on the wall.
An imposing sculpture with a very distinct facial expression.
A Pavilion overlooking a scenic area.
An intricate staircase leading up to a temple
A shot of the colourful rooftop.
A close up shot of a Buddhist face.
A gate offering scenic views of the city below.
A shot of the waterfall crashing down with fish nearby.
Travel Photo of a gorgeous pathway with lovely scenery and trees.
A turtle competing for space in a crowded pool of water.
Amazing photos as always Samuel. And a new blog?! How do you find the time 😉
Thanks Laurence! I have no idea…LOL I’m the most time poor person in the universe now 😛
Looks like an interesting place Sam, I believe the imposing female sculpture in one of the photos is “Guan Yin”.
Indeed, very interesting! Thanks for clarification on that 🙂
Seems to be the time for the new sites. My wife and I started our new one a few weeks ago. Love the close up pictures of stuff.
Thanks Andrew! Exciting times for us all with the new sites 🙂
Fab photos as always. Congrats on the new site as well. Are you taking speed to be able to keep up with them all? 😉
With the amount of sites I now run I had better take something even stronger 😛
Awesome photos and congrats on the new site!
Thanks Brock! Much appreciated mate 🙂
I remember Kek Lok Si, particularly the thousands of little Buddhas and the turtles 🙂 Really stunning photos here!
Thanks Natasha! It’s hard to forget all the turtles!
Great photos. Very beautiful. Makes me miss Malaysia. I only made it to KL and Taman Negara. Would love to see Malaysia Borneo and explore more of the other side as well. I was at the Batu Caves for Thaipusam and it was really amazing. Here’s a video of my time there: http://hopscotchtheglobe.com/2011/01/29/thaipusam-hindu-festival-at-the-batu-caves-in-kuala-lumpur-malaysia/
Look forward to more posts by you.
Great video Kristen! I always went to the Batu Caves. I’ve never seen so many monkeys drink Cola before! LOL
Great photos. You captured Malaysia very nicely.
Thank you! Malaysia is a great country to visit IMO 🙂
Great shots. I didn’t realise we’d been there until I recognised the temple from your photos. I’d long forgotten the name of the place, instead, somewhat disrespectfully, remembering it as the Nazi Buddha Turtle Temple. Though I knew from an episode of The Night Stalker (the things you learn from late night TV) that Hitler appropriated the symbol from eastern religion it still came as a bit of a shock to witness a line of swastika toting Buddha statues.
LOL, that’s certainly one way to remember the place 😛 I’ve never seen a place with so many turtles before!
Beautiful photos as always. We went to Kek Lok Si during the Chinese New Year Period, when the whole place is lit up.
Wow! That must have been quite something Steve!
Congrats on your new site! Love the photos, especially the first one with the burning incense.
Photo Essay – what an amazing and wonderful idea … and you have the talent for it.
Thanks, I enjoy doing photo essays.
Great photos. I thought is was interesting that you choose to shot so many detailed photos on the largest temple in SE Asia.
Thanks Mary, it was hard for me to put my camera down. It’s quite a fascinating place to visit.