Chin Swee Temple is not your ordinary temple because, first of all, it is located on a mountaintop amongst the clouds on Genting Highlands. Secondly, this temple is the result of the blood, sweat, and tears of the late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong, who served as the planner, architect, designer, contractor, and supervisor. Thirdly, the steep and rocky terrain of the mountain made it impossible for modern machinery to be used for piling, so Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong resorted to manual labour, resulting in 18 years spent completing the Chin Swee Caves Temple.
This Chinese temple was officially opened on 29th 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.
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.
📞 Phone: 03-2179 1886
📍Address: Exit 68, Genting Sempah, Pahang, 28750 Bentong
The largest temple in KL, Thean Hou Temple, is also a hotspot for eye-catching 📸Instagram photos! Enshrined in this six-tiered temple are 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.
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!
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 both 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 mesmerising, especially with the rows of illuminated red lanterns hanging from the top.
📞Phone: 03-2274 7088
📍Address: 65, Persiaran Endah, Taman Persiaran Desa, 50460 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Jenjarom is a town in which 95% of the 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. The captivating Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple is located in this town. This is one of the many temples by Fo Guang Shan (FGS), an organization and monastic order based in Taiwan that practices Humanistic Buddhism.
The Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple, built in 1994, comprises the main shrine that houses a giant Buddha statue, the Sarnath Garden (with Bambi-like 🦌deer inside), a sutra calligraphy hall, exhibition halls containing artifacts, a 🥦vegetarian restaurant and more.
The biggest attraction of this Buddhist temple is the colourful and lively illuminations! During the Chinese New Year, lanterns, flotillas, and digital lights illuminate the temple grounds at night, creating a stunning display. The Lantern and Flora Festival lasts for 15 days, providing visitors with ample time to enjoy the festivities.
📞Phone: 03-3191 1533
📍Address: PT 2297, Jalan Sungai Buaya, Kampung Jenjarom, 42600 Jenjarom, Selangor
Kek Lok Si is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Malaysia. This temple was built over 40 years from 1890 to 1930 and was then 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.
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 notable feature of this temple is the 30.2-metre (99 ft) tall bronze Guan Yin statue. It replaced the previous white plaster Kuan Yin statue, which was damaged in a fire.
During Chinese New Year, the temple remains open late into the night for up to 30 days. The temple is decorated with thousands of 🏮lanterns, which represent donations made by devotees. At night, these lanterns (along with other lights) illuminate the temple grounds and transform it into a picturesque location. You can either drive up and 🚗park at the temple compound for a fee of RM3 per entry or take a 🚃cable car ride. Currently, some parts of the temple are under renovation after a 🔥fire broke out in October 2021, destroying 70% of the temple site.
📞Phone: 04-828 3317
📍Address: 1000L, Tingkat Lembah Ria 1, 11500 Air Hitam, Pulau Pinang
Perak is rich in limestone caves, and Sam Poh Tong Temple is one of the many Chinese temples in Malaysia that is built within a cave! It is also the oldest and 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 he spent his entire life there. A temple was then completed in the 1950s by the monks and nuns who succeeded him.
To reach the cave opening, visitors have to climb 246 steps, GASP😱! Inside the cave, you can find a few finely made Buddha statues among the stalagmites and stalactites. 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.
Some of the attractions in this Buddhist temple with Chinese influence include a red-roofed pagoda and a turtle pond. As Ipoh is a town mainly populated by Chinese people, you can expect this temple to be very festive and lively during the week of celebration.
📞Phone: 05-255 2772
📍Address: Kampung Gunung Rapat, 31350 Ipoh, Perak
You can climb up the pagoda, which is one of the best spots to get a beautiful panoramic view of the area in Tuaran's vicinity. However, choose a clear day to visit because a cloudy day will result in a blurred panoramic view😫. As you stroll around the yard, you will come across statues of deities and characters from "Journey to the West," such as 🐵Sun Wukong (Monkey King) and 🐷Zhu Bajie (Pigsy).
📍Address: 89150 Tuaran, Sabah
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 carvings 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.
To enter the temple, you will first have to go through an archway with vermilion 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 without all the clear display of skillful craftsmanship.
The Klang Kwan Imm Temple opens early in the morning and stays open until late at night. Convenient parking is located opposite the main entrance. Guided tours that provide detailed explanations of the temple and walking tours around Klang city are available through 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 a must-do for the Chinese community, and the festivity cannot 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?