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Top 7 Malaysian Chinese Temples for Temple Hopping

28 Jan 2022

Chin Swee Caves Temple

Image Credit: elenaphotography_my

Chin Swee Temple is not your ordinary temple because, first of all, it is located on a mountain top amongst the clouds on Genting Highlands! Secondly, this temple is the blood, sweat and tears of the late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong. He was the planner, architect, designer, contractor and supervisor. Thirdly, the steep and rocky terrain of the mountain made it impossible for any modern machinery to be used for piling. Therefore, he resorted to manual labour of digging, which resulted in 18 years spent to complete the Chin Swee Caves Temple.

Image Credit: iinrealife
Image Credit: chinswee.org

This Chinese temple was officially opened on 29 March 1994, and it has over 18 attractions, which coincide with the 18 years spent building it. (Is this just a coincidence?🤔). Among the attractions in the temple are 10 Chambers of Hell, Sky Terrace, Bridge of Fairies, a Nine-Storey Pagoda and many more. One of the most noticeable features of this temple beside the Nine-Storey Pagoda is the enormous stone statue of Buddha backing the lush greenery and facing the road. Many of these attractions are geared towards tourists, and visitors can take nice pictures.

Image Credit: therealjinoscar

Chin Swee Caves Temple is dedicated to Reverend Chin Swee, who has been worshipped as a deity in the Fujian Province for his supernatural abilities to summon rain and drive away evil spirits. Besides Reverend Chin Swee, this temple also houses Buddha and Guan Yin.

Chin Swee Caves Temple

Image Credit: elenaphotography_my

Chin Swee Temple is not your ordinary temple because, first of all, it is located on a mountain top amongst the clouds on Genting Highlands! Secondly, this temple is the blood, sweat and tears of the late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong. He was the planner, architect, designer, contractor and supervisor. Thirdly, the steep and rocky terrain of the mountain made it impossible for any modern machinery to be used for piling. Therefore, he resorted to manual labour of digging, which resulted in 18 years spent to complete the Chin Swee Caves Temple.

Image Credit: iinrealife
Image Credit: chinswee.org

This Chinese temple was officially opened on 29 March 1994, and it has over 18 attractions, which coincide with the 18 years spent building it. (Is this just a coincidence?🤔). Among the attractions in the temple are 10 Chambers of Hell, Sky Terrace, Bridge of Fairies, a Nine-Storey Pagoda and many more. One of the most noticeable features of this temple beside the Nine-Storey Pagoda is the enormous stone statue of Buddha backing the lush greenery and facing the road. Many of these attractions are geared towards tourists, and visitors can take nice pictures.

Image Credit: therealjinoscar

Chin Swee Caves Temple is dedicated to Reverend Chin Swee, who has been worshipped as a deity in the Fujian Province for his supernatural abilities to summon rain and drive away evil spirits. Besides Reverend Chin Swee, this temple also houses Buddha and Guan Yin.

Thean Hou Temple

Image Credit: elton_mr.khoo

The largest temple in KL, Thean Hou Temple is also a hotspot for eye-catching 📸Instagram photos! Enshrined in This six-tiered temple is the Chinese sea goddess Mazu (known as Thean Hou Niang Niang), Guan Yin and Shui Wei Niang Niang. The temple was built by Hainanese living in Malaysia and officially opened to the public in 1989.

Image Credit: livingnomads.com

This Chinese temple cost a whopping RM7 million, and if you look closely at the architecture, you will know why. The design of Thean Hou Temple is incorporated with elements of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. You can spot the grand classical Chinese architecture on the roofs, Dougong (Bracket Set), Caisson Ceiling, etc. You really have to come here and see with your own 👀eyes!

Image Credit: foonyin_lim
Image Credit: mohd.edzuan

The Thean Hou Temple has up to 10 attractions, including the temple itself like the 24 Solar Terms Paper-Cutting Art, Twenty-Four Filial Exemplars, Chinese Herb Garden and many more. It is usually very festive during the Chinese New Year when families and the 👧👦young and 👴👵old come here to pray by offering incense and lotus lamps. Outside of the temple complex, along the way leading downhill, are stalls selling street food, drinks and Chinese calligraphy & paintings. At night, the view at the temple is simply mesmerizing, especially with the rows of illuminated 🏮red lanterns hanging from the top.

  • 📞 Phone: 03-2274 7088
  • 🌎 Website: https://www.hainannet.com.my/
  • 📍 Address: 65, Persiaran Endah, Taman Persiaran Desa, 50460 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Thean Hou Temple

Image Credit: elton_mr.khoo

The largest temple in KL, Thean Hou Temple is also a hotspot for eye-catching 📸Instagram photos! Enshrined in This six-tiered temple is the Chinese sea goddess Mazu (known as Thean Hou Niang Niang), Guan Yin and Shui Wei Niang Niang. The temple was built by Hainanese living in Malaysia and officially opened to the public in 1989.

Image Credit: livingnomads.com

This Chinese temple cost a whopping RM7 million, and if you look closely at the architecture, you will know why. The design of Thean Hou Temple is incorporated with elements of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. You can spot the grand classical Chinese architecture on the roofs, Dougong (Bracket Set), Caisson Ceiling, etc. You really have to come here and see with your own 👀eyes!

Image Credit: foonyin_lim
Image Credit: mohd.edzuan

The Thean Hou Temple has up to 10 attractions, including the temple itself like the 24 Solar Terms Paper-Cutting Art, Twenty-Four Filial Exemplars, Chinese Herb Garden and many more. It is usually very festive during the Chinese New Year when families and the 👧👦young and 👴👵old come here to pray by offering incense and lotus lamps. Outside of the temple complex, along the way leading downhill, are stalls selling street food, drinks and Chinese calligraphy & paintings. At night, the view at the temple is simply mesmerizing, especially with the rows of illuminated 🏮red lanterns hanging from the top.

  • 📞 Phone: 03-2274 7088
  • 🌎 Website: https://www.hainannet.com.my/
  • 📍 Address: 65, Persiaran Endah, Taman Persiaran Desa, 50460 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple (馬來西亞佛光山東禪寺)

Image Credit: selangor.travel

Jenjarom is a town where 95% of its population is Chinese. It was a “Kampung Baru” that was part of the Briggs Plan in the 1950s to combat the insurgence of communists hence the large single-race population. And in this town lies the captivating Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple. This is one of the many temples by Fo Guang Shan (FGS), an organization and monastic order based in Taiwan that practices Humanistic Buddhism.

Image Credit: feliciaysp
Image Credit: jessie.chenfeiwen

Built in 1994, the Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple comprises the main shrine which houses a giant Buddha statue, the Sarnath Garden (with Bambi looking 🦌deers inside), a sutra calligraphy hall, exhibition halls containing artefacts, a 🥦vegetarian restaurant and many more.

Image Credit: laguccica
Image Credit: myblia.wordpress.com

The biggest attraction of this Buddhist temple is the colourful and lively illuminations! During Chinese New Year, lanterns, flotillas and digital lights will illuminate the temple ground at night. This Lantern and Flora Festival will last for 15 days.

  • 📞 Phone: 03-3191 1533
  • 📍 Address: PT 2297, Jalan Sungai Buaya, Kampung Jenjarom, 42600 Jenjarom, Selangor

Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple (馬來西亞佛光山東禪寺)

Image Credit: selangor.travel

Jenjarom is a town where 95% of its population is Chinese. It was a “Kampung Baru” that was part of the Briggs Plan in the 1950s to combat the insurgence of communists hence the large single-race population. And in this town lies the captivating Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple. This is one of the many temples by Fo Guang Shan (FGS), an organization and monastic order based in Taiwan that practices Humanistic Buddhism.

Image Credit: feliciaysp
Image Credit: jessie.chenfeiwen

Built in 1994, the Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple comprises the main shrine which houses a giant Buddha statue, the Sarnath Garden (with Bambi looking 🦌deers inside), a sutra calligraphy hall, exhibition halls containing artefacts, a 🥦vegetarian restaurant and many more.

Image Credit: laguccica
Image Credit: myblia.wordpress.com

The biggest attraction of this Buddhist temple is the colourful and lively illuminations! During Chinese New Year, lanterns, flotillas and digital lights will illuminate the temple ground at night. This Lantern and Flora Festival will last for 15 days.

  • 📞 Phone: 03-3191 1533
  • 📍 Address: PT 2297, Jalan Sungai Buaya, Kampung Jenjarom, 42600 Jenjarom, Selangor

Kek Lok Si

Image Credit: sallyinwanderland

Kek Lok Si is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Malaysia. This temple was built over 40 years from 1890 to 1930; it was then was given recognition by the Guangxu Emperor of the Qing dynasty 🤯. The abbot at that time, Beow Lean, was bestowed with psalms and other sacred works of Buddhism, and his return to Penang was welcomed with a 🧨🎉festive celebratory procession.

Image Credit: crystalpuiyan
Image Credit: sherwyndkessler

The most prominent feature of this temple is the 30-metre-high (98 ft) pagoda called "Ban Po Thar" (萬佛塔, Pagoda of the Ten Thousand Buddhas) that was completed in 1930. The seven-storey pagoda combines a Chinese octagonal base with a middle tier Thai design and a Burmese crown (spiral dome); reflecting the temple's amalgam of Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism. Another prominent feature of this temple is the 30.2-metre (99 ft) tall, bronze Guan Yin statue. It replaces the previous white plaster Kuan Yin statue, which got damaged in a fire.

Image Credit: focadego1989

During Chinese New Year, the temple remains open until late at night for up to 30 days. The temple will then be decorated with thousands of 🏮lanterns representing donations offered by devotees. At night, these lanterns (together with other lights), will illuminate and turn the temple ground into a picturesque place. You can either drive up and park at the temple compound at the fee of RM3 per entry or take a ride on the cable car. Currently, certain parts of the temple are under renovation after a fire that has caused 70% of the temple site to be destroyed, broke out in October 2021.

  • 📞 Phone: 04-828 3317
  • 🌎 Website: https://kekloksitemple.com/
  • 📍 Address: 1000L, Tingkat Lembah Ria 1, 11500 Air Hitam, Pulau Pinang

Kek Lok Si

Image Credit: sallyinwanderland

Kek Lok Si is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Malaysia. This temple was built over 40 years from 1890 to 1930; it was then was given recognition by the Guangxu Emperor of the Qing dynasty 🤯. The abbot at that time, Beow Lean, was bestowed with psalms and other sacred works of Buddhism, and his return to Penang was welcomed with a 🧨🎉festive celebratory procession.

Image Credit: crystalpuiyan
Image Credit: sherwyndkessler

The most prominent feature of this temple is the 30-metre-high (98 ft) pagoda called "Ban Po Thar" (萬佛塔, Pagoda of the Ten Thousand Buddhas) that was completed in 1930. The seven-storey pagoda combines a Chinese octagonal base with a middle tier Thai design and a Burmese crown (spiral dome); reflecting the temple's amalgam of Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism. Another prominent feature of this temple is the 30.2-metre (99 ft) tall, bronze Guan Yin statue. It replaces the previous white plaster Kuan Yin statue, which got damaged in a fire.

Image Credit: focadego1989

During Chinese New Year, the temple remains open until late at night for up to 30 days. The temple will then be decorated with thousands of 🏮lanterns representing donations offered by devotees. At night, these lanterns (together with other lights), will illuminate and turn the temple ground into a picturesque place. You can either drive up and park at the temple compound at the fee of RM3 per entry or take a ride on the cable car. Currently, certain parts of the temple are under renovation after a fire that has caused 70% of the temple site to be destroyed, broke out in October 2021.

  • 📞 Phone: 04-828 3317
  • 🌎 Website: https://kekloksitemple.com/
  • 📍 Address: 1000L, Tingkat Lembah Ria 1, 11500 Air Hitam, Pulau Pinang

Sam Poh Tong Temple

Image Credit: kengishima

Perak is rich in limestone caves, and Sam Poh Tong Temple is one of the many Chinese temples in Malaysia that are built within a cave! It is also the oldest and the main cave temple in Ipoh, Perak. It was discovered by a monk from China in 1890 who then decided to make it his home and a place for meditation; and spent his entire life there. A temple was then completed in the 1950s by the monks & nuns who succeeded him.

Image Credit: steinygirl_mom

To reach the cave opening, visitors have to climb 246 steps, GASP😱! Inside the cave, you can find a few finely made Buddha statues amongst the stalagmite and stalactite. From the top, visitors can get a good view of Ipoh city. Sam Poh Tong Temple is also known as the largest cave temple in Malaysia.

Image Credit: tsuey_kst

Some of the attractions in this Buddhist temple with Chinese influence include a red-roofed pagoda, a turtle pond, etc. As Ipoh is a town mainly populated by the Chinese, you can expect this temple to be very festive and lively throughout the week of celebration.

  • 📞 Phone: 05-255 2772
  • 📍 Address: Kampung Gunung Rapat, 31350 Ipoh, Perak

Sam Poh Tong Temple

Image Credit: kengishima

Perak is rich in limestone caves, and Sam Poh Tong Temple is one of the many Chinese temples in Malaysia that are built within a cave! It is also the oldest and the main cave temple in Ipoh, Perak. It was discovered by a monk from China in 1890 who then decided to make it his home and a place for meditation; and spent his entire life there. A temple was then completed in the 1950s by the monks & nuns who succeeded him.

Image Credit: steinygirl_mom

To reach the cave opening, visitors have to climb 246 steps, GASP😱! Inside the cave, you can find a few finely made Buddha statues amongst the stalagmite and stalactite. From the top, visitors can get a good view of Ipoh city. Sam Poh Tong Temple is also known as the largest cave temple in Malaysia.

Image Credit: tsuey_kst

Some of the attractions in this Buddhist temple with Chinese influence include a red-roofed pagoda, a turtle pond, etc. As Ipoh is a town mainly populated by the Chinese, you can expect this temple to be very festive and lively throughout the week of celebration.

  • 📞 Phone: 05-255 2772
  • 📍 Address: Kampung Gunung Rapat, 31350 Ipoh, Perak

Pagoda Ling San

Image Credit: ekal.adventure
Image Credit: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

This pagoda deserves a shoutout as it reminds many of us of “Journey to The West”. The name “Ling San” means dragon mountain in the Hokkien dialect. The construction of this temple began in 1990 and was completed in 2005 (Wow!! 15 years, guys!😲). Within the compound of this temple is a nine-storey pagoda which is also an 📸instagrammable hotspot for many visitors.

Image Credit: maslight
Image Credit: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

You can actually climb up the pagoda. It is one of the best spots to get a beautiful panoramic view of the area within the vicinity of Tuaran. However, pick a clear day to go, as a cloudy day will result in a blurred panoramic view🤣. As you walk around the yard, you will bump into statues of deities and characters from “Journey to The West” such as Sun Wukong (🙉Monkey King) and Zhu Bajie (🐷Pigsy).

  • 📍 Address: 89150 Tuaran, Sabah

Pagoda Ling San

Image Credit: ekal.adventure
Image Credit: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

This pagoda deserves a shoutout as it reminds many of us of “Journey to The West”. The name “Ling San” means dragon mountain in the Hokkien dialect. The construction of this temple began in 1990 and was completed in 2005 (Wow!! 15 years, guys!😲). Within the compound of this temple is a nine-storey pagoda which is also an 📸instagrammable hotspot for many visitors.

Image Credit: maslight
Image Credit: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

You can actually climb up the pagoda. It is one of the best spots to get a beautiful panoramic view of the area within the vicinity of Tuaran. However, pick a clear day to go, as a cloudy day will result in a blurred panoramic view🤣. As you walk around the yard, you will bump into statues of deities and characters from “Journey to The West” such as Sun Wukong (🙉Monkey King) and Zhu Bajie (🐷Pigsy).

  • 📍 Address: 89150 Tuaran, Sabah

Klang Kwan Imm Temple 巴生观音亭

Image Credit: buddyzmalaysia

Situated in the royal city of Klang, the Klang Kwan Imm Temple is actually 130 years old🤯! Built over a century ago in 1892, this Chinese temple with ornate carving and intriguing traditional Chinese architecture is managed by the Persatuan Penyokong Rumah Berhala Kwan Imm, Klang. The deities worshipped here include the goddess of mercy (Guan Yin), Gautama Buddha, Mazu and Fa Zhu Gong.

Image Credit: suntorophotolibrary.blogspot.com
Image Credit: https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/sunday-vibes/2020/01/557733/step-back-time-%E2%80%94-historic-kuan-yin-temple-klang

To enter the temple, you will first have to go through an archway with vermillion red doors with rows of metal balls cupped on it, just like those shown in Chinese historical dramas. Almost every part of this temple is adorned with paintings and intricate carvings of motifs and mythological creatures in Chinese legends like dragons and phoenixes. The carvings are also cleverly incorporated with local Malaysian motifs such as durian and 🍍pineapple! However, when it was first built, this temple was just a simple pavilion structure sans all the clear display of skilful craftsmanship.

Image Credit: suntorophotolibrary.blogspot.com
Image Credit: suntorophotolibrary.blogspot.com

The Klang Kwan Imm Temple is open from early morning until late night. Parking is also very conveniently located opposite the main entrance. A guided tour with detailed explanations of the temple is available, along with walking tours around Klang city by Jalan Jalan Klang.

  • 📞 Phone: 016-331 6989
  • 📍 Address: 30, Jalan Raya Barat, Selangor Darul Ehsan, 41000 Klang, Selangor

Praying at the temple during Chinese New Year is one of the must-do for the Chinese community, and the festivity can’t be found on any other days. So for this Chinese New Year, why not head over to these top 7 breathtaking Malaysian Chinese temples for temple-hopping! Don't forget to adhere to SOP, okay!

Klang Kwan Imm Temple 巴生观音亭

Image Credit: buddyzmalaysia

Situated in the royal city of Klang, the Klang Kwan Imm Temple is actually 130 years old🤯! Built over a century ago in 1892, this Chinese temple with ornate carving and intriguing traditional Chinese architecture is managed by the Persatuan Penyokong Rumah Berhala Kwan Imm, Klang. The deities worshipped here include the goddess of mercy (Guan Yin), Gautama Buddha, Mazu and Fa Zhu Gong.

Image Credit: suntorophotolibrary.blogspot.com
Image Credit: https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/sunday-vibes/2020/01/557733/step-back-time-%E2%80%94-historic-kuan-yin-temple-klang

To enter the temple, you will first have to go through an archway with vermillion red doors with rows of metal balls cupped on it, just like those shown in Chinese historical dramas. Almost every part of this temple is adorned with paintings and intricate carvings of motifs and mythological creatures in Chinese legends like dragons and phoenixes. The carvings are also cleverly incorporated with local Malaysian motifs such as durian and 🍍pineapple! However, when it was first built, this temple was just a simple pavilion structure sans all the clear display of skilful craftsmanship.

Image Credit: suntorophotolibrary.blogspot.com
Image Credit: suntorophotolibrary.blogspot.com

The Klang Kwan Imm Temple is open from early morning until late night. Parking is also very conveniently located opposite the main entrance. A guided tour with detailed explanations of the temple is available, along with walking tours around Klang city by Jalan Jalan Klang.

  • 📞 Phone: 016-331 6989
  • 📍 Address: 30, Jalan Raya Barat, Selangor Darul Ehsan, 41000 Klang, Selangor

Praying at the temple during Chinese New Year is one of the must-do for the Chinese community, and the festivity can’t be found on any other days. So for this Chinese New Year, why not head over to these top 7 breathtaking Malaysian Chinese temples for temple-hopping! Don't forget to adhere to SOP, okay!

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