Kek Lok Si Temple | Penang |Review & Photos


Kek Lok Si Temple is a Buddhist temple on the island of Penang and is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. It stands on a hill in Ayer Itam which is about a 45 minute drive from Batu Ferringhi. We hired a driver but you can also get the 203 or 204 bus from Georgetown.


In 1885, Venerable Beow Lean was appointed as the chief monk of the Kuan Yin Teng Temple in Pitt Street, the oldest temple in Penang. Later he found a big hill, in Air Itam village, had the right Feng-Sui to build a Buddhist monastery on. Work commenced in the late 19th Century, after donations from local wealthy benefactors, and is still being added to now.

Kek Lok Si Temple grounds

Our driver drove us to the top of the hill so we could walk down to the bottom. As a result, we didn’t have to walk uphill in the heat. The view was pretty amazing from up there and there was a lovely garden with a fish pond and gazebo.

Kek Lok Si Gazebo and Pond

Also on this level stands the 30.2m statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, which was built in 2002. The Pavilion surrounding the statue was added on later.

Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy

From here we made our way down to the middle section via the incline lift which is where you will find temples, gardens, the pagoda and pavilion.

Kek Lok Si Incline Lift
Incline Lift
Kek Lok Si Middle Section
Middle Section
3 Tier Pagoda
3 Tier Pagoda
7 Tier Pagoda
7 Tier Pagoda

The highlight of the temple is the seven-storey Pagoda of a Million Buddhas, which stands at 30m high. This pagoda was completed in 1930 and combines the architectural styles of Chinese, Thai and Burmese.

Pagoda of a Million Buddhas

Finally, the bottom section has the turtle liberation pond and then a dark walk way with souvenir and food stalls. The turtle pond is pretty sad if you’re an animal lover because there are way too many in such a small space.

Turtle liberation Pond


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. So sad for those turtles! Otherwise what a beautiful temple complex and interesting mix of architectural styles. Enjoyed learning about the history of the site.

    1. Thank you so much Cynthia. I hate seeing animals like that but it seems to be quite common in Asia unfortunately.

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