Kek Lok Si Temple is located in Air Itam on the island of Penang in Malaysia. It is apparently the biggest Buddhist temple in South East Asia although to be fair its more like a huge interconnected set of temples. Kok Lek Si has a temple of 10000 Buddhas. Walking in there you can see why they call it this. It is really beautiful and without counting, by now, there is probably more than 10000 Buddhas in the one temple.
It's only a short bus ride of about 20 minutes from Georgetown and is definitely worth the trip. We caught the free CAT bus near our hotel on Love Lane to Komtar and then caught bus 203 from Komtar to Kek Lok Si. It cost us RM 2.00 each. Just let your friendly bus driver know where you want to go and (s)he will happily let you off when the time is right. The public transport system on Penang really is that great!
There are two ways to reach the temple of Kek Lok Si once you get off the bus (or bike), the first is via a windy road that takes you up the hill to one of the first temples. The walk up the hill on the road is lovely as you get to see how people live in Air Itam. There really is something special about walking through a suburb.
The other way is via a covered walkway that runs from the main road to the first temple. On either side of the stairs are numerous stalls willing to sell you anything from I heart Penang to miniature versions of the twin towers of Kuala Lumpur (we are in Penang after all). Walking this way, you pass the “pond” full of turtles. They are meant to be good luck but I doubt they are thinking they are lucky. Poor little buggers.
Whilst we walked around Kek Lok Si getting wet from the rain, we noticed that you could donate RM30.00 to the temple and receive a roof tile that they will write your name on to use on one of their temple's roofs. This is meant to be good luck. We handed over our money and asked the lady to write our names on our roof tile. It was a cute and special moment for us.
Kek Lok Si in Penang is a wonderful place to visit and spend a few hours at. It is open from 9:00am to 6:00pm daily. There are a few restaurants on offer, one free inside one of the pagodas. An incline lift will take you up to the goddess at the top temple for RM 4.00 return per adult. All money goes to temple maintenance.
Rapid Bus Routes from Komtar Central to Kok Lek Si in Air Itam, Penang – U201 / U203 / U204 / U206 / U502