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Tourism Malaysia

Street Art in Malaysia

The social recognition has now made mural a form of arts with a status. From Berlin to Rio de Janeiro; from Bronx, New York to the fame London’s Banksy, murals are taking its rightful place in other part of the world – slowly but surely. 

Murals in Malaysia are broad in themes and subjects. Decorating (forgotten sides of) a town – murals in Malaysia now take centre stage, presented by talented local artists – or talents from afar. 

Today, there are many places in Malaysia embrace murals or street art – Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and other cities, but let’s update some selected venues for you to grab your camera and – smile!!

PENANG

This year, Penang street art took another accolade after awarded as the 7th Most Instagrammed City for Street Art in the world. Well certainly, Penang streets outshine the most, if you are looking for something different. By combining a life-size images, plus the original piece or 3D objects, murals in Penang are ‘interactive and real’.

Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic revitalised Georgetown with his unique take on street art featuring children. Pieces like Little Boy with Pet Dinosaur and Boy on Bike are so cool that you can’t help but want to pose with them, commented https://thefreedomtravellers.com.

So just stroll down the lanes, and take your own sweet time to admire some of the finest ‘free souvenirs’ from Penang. Mind that Georgetown is not only place to find the murals, but also Balik Pulau is also picking up the trend. In fact, Russian artist Julia Volchkova painted her Old Fisherman and Silat (2015) murals there.

Credit: www.penang-traveltips.com

Julia Volchkova’s Old Fisherman

MELAKA

Even though the publicity of art murals in Malaysia is dominated by Penang, Malacca also stepped up their game in the street art scene. The state known for its rich history and culture also jumped on the bandwagon with their River Art Project in 2012 where 9 groups of graffiti artists collaborated to produce artworks on buildings along Bandar Hilir river, making art to beautify the city with more Malaysian elements. Aside from the project, many guesthouses and hotels along the river also feature street art murals to add a touch of personality to their walls. An example of this is the “Welcome to Malacca” mural that decorates the side of the 906 Riverside Hotel.

Colourful riverside in Melaka

Local artist Charles Cham has a number of notable murals that grace the more famous buildings in Malacca Old Town such as his mural on the wall of “The Orangutan House” and the more political “Freedom of Speech” mural. Just like the street art in Penang, there are many murals in the streets of Malacca that incorporate the element of interaction with the visitors.

In an alley near Jalan Hang Kasturi, there is an interactive murals lane where the art includes perspective-altering images which allows visitors to pose creatively to create the impression as if the visitors are also a part of the art created. More recently, the cosmetics brand Kiehl’s commissioned for the walls of its store in Jonker Street to be filled with street art that portrays vibrant colours as a celebration of Malaysia’s colourful heritage.

Credits:

https://pointandshootwanderlust.com/photo-essay-melakas-street-art/ https://www.ipacktravel.com/single-post/Malacca-Street-Arts http://projekarm.blogspot.com/

Ipoh Mural Art Trail’s map

IPOH, PERAK

The long lines of olden Chines brick shop houses in Ipoh, offer much opportunities for street artists to pen their colours. Like a big canvas, the theme is very much associated to the once a mining town.

So in 2014, Ipoh introduced the Mural Art trail in collaboration with the City Council of Ipoh, – again – Ernest Zacharevic and the Ipoh coffee brand Old Town White Coffee. To make it better, they came up with an Ipoh Mural Art Trail map depicts nine street art mural locations together with GPS coordinates.

As an icing on the cake, another local talent Eric Lai, added up his pieces depicting rich cultural heritage of Malaysia in a joyful and playful way. Now you know why Lonely Planet picked up Ipoh as their favourite destination before!

Ernest Zacharevic in Ipoh

Credit: https://alifewithoutborders.org/street-art-in-ipoh-malaysia/

MUAR

The small town in Johor – Muar – keep the best secret of Malaysian street art for years now. Elegantly adorning the walls of the shop houses, many artists contributed to the decoration of the town which focus on the ‘Malaysian faces and activities’.

For examples, Julia Volchkova’s ‘Loving Sisters’ embraces the love theme of life, and touches our inner feeling with calmness and harmony. Hailed as the biggest mural in Malaysia, it stands out proudly at 11.8 meters x 10 meters in size.

Volchkova in action!

My all-time favourite artist, Volchkova always able to present an ultra realistic piece of artwork, which connect to local elements and sentiments. Caratoes, a Belgium-born artist, also contributed with his works of many themes that made Muar a colourful town to visit.

Credit: www.mynewshub.tv

KOTA BHARU

Not to be left out, the cultural city of Kota Bharu, Kelantan in East Coast, instils a fresh breath onto street art in Malaysia. With interesting themes and vibrant colours, Kota Bharu offers a new outlook for tourists to be part of the town’s heritage.

Try walk past the amusing Riverside area, or the Jalan Dato’ Pati, Kota Bharu, which houses Palestine Street Alley art and around 20 artworks – with different local and international images. These variety of themes and styles – either pop art or realism – simply catch your eyes and thought-provoking. You’ll be amazed that even the road is turned into painted carpets!

Local artists Fazirul Ezran and many more contributed to the scene.

Credit: https://lyfandspice.com

Kota Bharu’s new attraction

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Tourism Malaysia

Joyful Aidilfitri

The holy month of Ramadan is coming to an end and Hari Raya Aidilfitri is just around the corner. For those who haven’t done their shopping, let’s see what the shopping malls in town have in store for everyone!

Suria KLCC

Themed “Rekindle The Bonds of Traditions”, Suria KLCC, KL’s premier shopping centre celebrates Hari Raya Aidilfitri with decorations recreating the festival of lights ambience of Malam Tujuh Likur and showcasing the rich cultures of Malay architecture from 14 May until 9 June 2019. The main centrepiece will have a pentagon-shaped porte-cochere inspired by Jahar Palace in Kota Bharu, Kelantan and surrounded by traditional yesteryear-designed shops. A beautiful mini garden with life-sized flowers and colourful painted lamps to create the festival of lights ambience, is set to mesmerise shoppers and visitors alike while traditional Malay fretwork and Islamic geometry patterns give the structures the perfect finishing.

Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s premier shopping destination, unveiled its festive celebrations ‘The Beauty of Raya’ inspired by the iconic ketupat, woven through splendid decorations and experiences. The ketupat, a symbol of Malaysian unity and the spirit of Hari Raya, is a beautiful representation of inclusiveness, coming together to share and celebrate Hari Raya together. Feast on diverse buka puasa selections, indulge in seasonal shopping and return to the heritage of weaving ketupat, illuminated by joy and with charity at heart, from now until 13 June.

Sunway Malls

 

Sunway Malls reunited to celebrate the coming Aidilfitri with a stunning and magnificent flora-inspired campaign called Bunga-Bunga Raya. With the festive season coming to full swing, each Sunway mall is decked out in different species of flowers.

Each mall has their take on this year’s festivities with the unifying theme of celebrating the flowers of Malaysia; Hibiscus, Bougainvillea, Orchids, Geranium, Morning Glory and Jasmine.  Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, each flower has a symbolic meaning such as togetherness, celebration, forgiveness, hope, new beginnings and purity respectively.

Sunway Pyramid

Known as the “celebratory flower” in Malay, the hibiscus will be the central theme for Sunway Pyramid this Raya from now until 9 June. The mall is decorated in floral arrangements where shoppers can immerse in a journey through the unique indoor garden with five different activities, each representing a petal of a bunga raya.

Sunway Velocity Mall

Sunway Velocity Mall is elegantly embellished with bougainvillea flowers, which symbolise celebration, passion, and liveliness. Each new bloom is seen as a sign of fresh beginning as Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan.  The mall is transformed into suburban wonderland and furnished with a magnificent kampung house that is adorned with a giant colourful bougainvillea flowers to brighten the Raya celebration.

Large traditional Malay Pelita glistening from the ceiling, draped with lights and bougainvillea flowers, brought light to the festive and elevated the mall’s atmosphere.

Sunway Putra Mall

At Sunway Putra Mall, a visit to the mall will leave patrons mesmerised as the Main Concourse is festooned with Orchid blossoms which universally symbolizes love, beauty and forgiveness. Happening from 3 May – 16 June 2019, the mall is transformed into blossoming Orchid garden with larger than life birdcages placed around the fountain features in a garden setting, providing a picturesque backdrop for patrons. Visitors can take a stroll in the garden, feast their eyes on the green landscape, and enjoy the fragrance of flowers and birds chirping along the pathway. A complimentary photo booth area is available throughout the period for public to take as many pictures as they wish.

Sunway Carnival Mall

Celebrating the theme “Bunga-Bunga Raya” this year, Sunway Carnival Mall’s upper ground concourse is decked with gorgeous voluminous geranium flowers and greeneries to enhance the festive mood that resemble ones ‘kampung halaman’. Each Geranium bloom is seen as a sign of new, fresher beginning or hope as our fellow Muslim friends celebrate the Ramadan.

IOI City Mall

This year IOI City Mall features beautiful structures and elements of different countries in celebration of Eid by bringing in “Eid Celebration Around the World”. Its theme says it all, offering culture, art, delicacies by enjoying the simplicities of Ramadhan with families and friends from different cultures and ethnicity of the world. This Eid celebration has begun from 25 April and will last all the way through to 9 June 2019. “Eid Celebration Around the World” will see a host of spectacular activities to catch your attention at every turn throughout the mall.

1Utama Shopping Centre

Themed “Sulaman Kasih”, weave yourselves a great time this Hari Raya from 15 May to 9 June at lower ground oval, 1Utama Shopping Centre. Spread the festive and come together with your friends and family to celebrate togetherness at the contemporary “weaving bamboo-themed” decoration. Mark your calendars for a line-up of colorful performances and fun-filled workshops and activities. Go Raya shopping and be rewarded with exclusive gift redemption and so much more to do and see!

Avenue K

Celebrate a light-hearted and  blessed Hari Raya Aidilfitri from 10 May to 9 June 2019 at Avenue K. Inspired by Islamic geometric patterns, the theme ‘Radiance of Eid’ at Avenue K shines brightly in bold geometric-shaped structures adorned by bouquets of beautiful tropical blooms. Marvel at a dazzling centre stage of lights, colour, and patterns framed by a mosaic floor of geometric designs and colourful palm trees that create a truly magnificent work of art.

Da Men Mall

Da Men delights the community and shoppers with an unforgettable festive celebration and unique decorations inspired by the beauty of Malaysian woven bag craft and an exclusive partnership with homegrown comic characters Pocotee Friends. Discover “Indahnya Raya” from 20 May till 9 June, where the alluring charm of traditional woven Bag Anyaman takes centre stage, harmoniously crafted to tell an intriguing story. The addition, adorable and beloved characters Pocotee Friends lend a friendly yet mischievous ambience to the mall. Bring the whole family to enjoy plenty of dance, music and entertaining performances too.

Intermark Mall

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Rejoice this Raya with tradition of batik, as Intermark Mall presents a slice of Malaysian textile heritage to shoppers and visitors from 20 May till 9 June 2019. Immerse yourself in an “En’chanting Raya’” with festive décor featuring vibrant batik motifs whilst you shop for seasonal favourites.

*This article provides information only and may be subject to change at any time without notice.

 

 

 

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Live and Let Live at the East Coast Homestays

The Malaysian homestay experience may have some similarities with the bed and breakfast concept in Europe, but there the similarity ends. It’s not only a retreat for those wanting to escape the city, it’s a lesson in life about humanity, patience, and for us, Malaysians, our heritage and traditions. The East Coast of Malaysia is the epitome of the Malay culture and heritage. Homestays in the east coast will definitely give you a glimpse of that traditional world. Let’s check out some of them:

Homestay Desa Murni, Temerloh – Pahang

As the pioneer homestays, the five villages of Desa Murni in Temerloh, Pahang remain a much sought after home away from home even after more than 20 years.

At these villages, immerse yourself in your adopted family’s way of life. Many of them are rubber tapers so get the opportunity to learn how to tap a rubber tree. Mind you, it’s not as easy as it looks. Perhaps you would like to try your hands at catching the patin fish or freshwater silver catfish which this district is famous for. Then, you can learn the Pahang’s most favourite way to cook the fish – ikan patin masak lemak. The yellowish gravy and slightly watery recipe is definitely delicious but an acquired taste at the same time.

While staying at the village, let your adopted family bring you to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre in Lanchang to have a close interaction with the elephants and visit the Deerland Park nearby where you can learn and interact with deers and also other animals such as sun bears, ostriches and snakes.

If you are into eco-adventure, you can choose to go to for a hiking and climbing at the nearby Gunung Senyum and also explore the caves at the foot of the mountain.

Homestay Desa Murni
Lot 1674 Jalan Homestay
Desa Murni Sanggang,
28020 Temerloh, Pahang, Malaysia
Contact Person: Khairul Hakimin bin Sahariman (+609 284 7949 / +6019 – 2243 805)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kampungstaydesamurni


Homestay Taman Sedia, Cameron Highlands – Pahang

What is great about this homestay is it is located on the highland, which means cool breezy weather all day long and a breath of fresh air. Taman Sedia is the first Malay settlement in Cameron Highlands and is located between the town of Tanah Rata and Brinchang.

Imagine staying at a home with a strawberry farm in the backyard, it will be a dream come true for some of us. And when there is a strawberry farm, there must be strawberry- related activities in the list of things to do at the village, right? Well, for a start, you will have the opportunity to eat strawberry fresh off the tree and then they will teach you how to make strawberry ice cream and strawberry jam.

Besides the strawberry farms, you can also visit various flowers and vegetable farms, a cactus valley, and various tea plantations that can be found all over the highland. Take a break at one of the tea plantations to sip a hot cup of tea while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the tea valley.

For the more adventurous, try hiking to one of the most popular waterfalls in Cameron Highlands, the Robinson Waterfall, or trekking all the way up to the bewitching Mossy Forest.

Homestay Taman Sedia
Kg. Taman Sedia
39000 Tanah Rata, Pahang
Contact Person: Mohd Zulkifli Daud (+6019 -578 2044)
Website: https://homestaykampungtamansedia.business.site/


Homestay Teluk Ketapang – Terengganu

Kampung Teluk Ketapang is a small fishing village where visitors can experience the traditional Terengganu way of life.

During your stay, you will have the opportunity to observe how local dishes are prepared and help out in the kitchen, test your skill in making keropok lekor (popular traditional Terengganu’s fish snack), witness a traditional Malay wedding and play traditional games such as congkak, a type of mancala game and the word congkak came from the old Malay word ‘congak’ which refers to the mental calculation practiced in this game.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the mangrove swamp river where you will be greeted by various species of wild animals such as colourful birds, monitor lizards, monkeys and even otters.

You can also visit one of the riverside villages to get a closer look on the traditional lifestyle of a Terengganu village, as well as participate in cottage industry tour such as an attap leave roof weaving and coconut sugar making.

Homestay Teluk Ketapang
Balai Raya Kg Teluk Ketapang
Seberang Takir, Terengganu
Contact Person: Md. Azmi (+6013 – 923 4837)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/HomestayTelukKetapang


Homestay Seterpa – Kelantan

The silent whisper of ripening paddy fields swaying gently in the wind greets visitors, as they step into Kampung Seterpa. Running barefoot, a small boy pushes his small tricycle across the beaten footpath at the edge of the paddy fields. A rooster crows loudly, breaking the deafening silence.

Located 16 kilometers from Kota Bharu in Kelantan, Kampung Seterpa is the nearest homestay village to the city centre. Kampung Seterpa, derived from the Kelantan dialect ‘serepak’ (meeting place), is a wonderful experience for those wanting a taste of traditional village life.

The villagers are warm and friendly, and immediately put you at ease with their lively chatter. Sip a coconut (or two!) to quench your thirst and take in the beautiful surroundings. Served with traditional pastries, ‘tepung pelita’ and munching on local fruit, jambu air, life here is pleasant and slow paced.

No traffic jams for miles, just the chorus of quacking ducks, chickens and buffalo. Breathe in the fresh, morning air as you watch the sun rise during your stay here. Make a date with the farmers to explore the village with its many interesting activities or even try a hand at paddy farming!

On a windy day, fly the ubiquitous and colourful wau (kite) while running across the paths to the paddy fields. Collect freshwater snails, see the mischievous monkey pick a ripe coconut or dance to the tunes of the ancient ‘dikir barat’.

You’ll definitely enjoy your stay here at Kampung Seterpa, don’t forget to share the memories!

Homestay Kg. Seterpa
Lot 112 Taman Indah, Kg. Seterpa
Jalan Penggawa Matsaat
16150, Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
Contact Person: Dr. Mohamed Saat bin Hj Ismail (09-765 7685 / 019-939 3553)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Homestay-Seterpa


Homestay Nelayan Pantai Suri – Kelantan

Greeted by a dozen ducks, quacking a cacophonic welcome, is a pleasant surprise as one sets foot on dry land at Pantai Suri Village. Goats and sheep wander aimlessly, chewing on small shrubs. Everything seems peaceful and very laidback.

The journey to the small island of Kampung Pantai Suri is a 20 minutes boat ride. The village sits at the estuary of the Kelantan River near Tumpat, and is near the South China Sea. Get a glimpse of the life of the villagers’, most of whom are fishermen, as they go out to sea early in the morning.

There are no cars here, only motorcycles and bicycles. Most villagers prefer to walk as the homes are situated closely to one another. As you walk, feel the sand under your feet. The coconut trees’ swaying gently in the wind and everyone knows everyone in the village of 450 people.

Try your hand at making the crunchy kuih sepit (love letters), or savour the tasty and mouth-watering local delicacy, kerabu nipah (palm salad) and play congkak with locals.

Watch too, bees’ fly aimlessly, stopping from flower to flower, as ciku trees start to bear fruits. Roosters walk majestically in the village, watching the village ducks wrestling for a morsel or two.

Dried fish is laid out to dry under the hot sun, to make salted fish. Friendly cats warm up to you as you stroll by. A bicycle lies unattended besides the withered bamboo fence. Life is simple, and this is Pantai Suri at its best.

Homestay Nelayan Pantai Suri
d/a Persatuan Nelayan Kawasan Tumpat Kompleks Perikanan LKIM Geting
Pengkalan Kubor
16080 Tumpat, Kelantan
Contact Person: Ramly Ibrahim (+6014 – 847 4865)
Email: [email protected]

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5 COSY BOOK CAFES FOR THE LITERARY-MINDED

Since book cafes have become a global craze, bookworms nowadays have some of the coolest venues to hang out while enjoying their books. Malaysia is no exception. There are a myriad of book cafes in Malaysia that will definitely persuade those literary-minded people to leave their favourite reading nooks at home. Here are five places perfect for the bibliophiles:

Hedley Books Cafe @ Kota Bahru, Kelantan

 

 

Who would have thought that there is a Harry Porter inspired book café in the middle of the state that is steep in culture and tradition? Believe you me, Hedley Books and Cafe is one café that you should look for whenever you find yourself in Kota Bahru, Kelantan. With logos of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin adorning its wall, and Harry Porter’s robes, as well as his magic wand, you will feel like you have stepped into Hogwart and become part of Harry Porter’s world.

There are more than 1,000 book for you to read. Just choose one from the bookshelves and enjoy your reading while sipping your favourite coffee; or maybe you can try the pie that the book café is famous for while re-reading a book from the Harry Porter’s collections; or take a selfie of you wearing Harry Porter’s robe and scarf, complete with a magic wand.

So, what are you waiting for, head to the east coast and search for this gem of a café.

Opening hours: Daily, 10am – 10pm

Photos are courtesy of Hedley Books and Cafe

Contact Details:

Hedley Books and Cafe
PT 1667 Tingkat 1, Jalan Raja Perempuan Zainab 2, Kubang Kerian,
16150 Kota Bharu
Tel: 012-988 1997

Instagram: www.instagram.com/hedleybookscafe
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hedleybookscafe

 

BookXcess’s Madeleine Café, The Starling, Selangor

 

Madeleine Café – BookXcess’s first in-store café – which offers a range of coffee-based drinks, herbal and regular teas, as well as a limited food menu is just perfect for book lovers who can’t wait to read their newly-bought book. BookXcess is bookstore where you can get a good selection of new books at a discounted price.

With a bookstore that measures some 10,500 square feet, The Starling BookXcess is considered one of the chain store’s largest outlets. You will definitely need to stretch your leg, quench your thirst, fill your stomach at the attached Madeleine Café after spending hours hunting for books at such large book store.

Business Hours: 10am-10pm every day.

Contact Details:

BookXcess
T-331A, T-331B,
The Starling Mall, Uptown, Damansara Utama.
Telephone No.: +603 5614 4554
Website: www.bookxcessonline.com/

The Wood Second Hand Book Store Café, Gajah Berang, Melaka

 

The Wood Second Hand Book Store Cafe at Jalan Gajah Berang Melaka is a little hidden gem for book lovers looking for a place to read books written in Mandarin.

At this book café, the smell of old books that mingles with the scent of a freshly-brewed coffee will really make you feel a bit nostalgic. Grab a rattan chair and lose yourself in the world of beautifully-written words at The Wood Second Hand Book Store Café.

Opening hours:

11am – 8pm (Mondays – Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays

Contact Details:

Address: No. 35 Jalan Gajah Berang, Melaka
Tel: +6012 616 7128
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thewoodsbookstore

 

The Nook Books Coffee, George Town, Penang

 

The Nook Books Coffee is a used bookstore and coffee shop, which is located at Khoo Cheow Teong Court along Fish Lane (Lorong Ikan) in George Town, Penang. This is the place to go for both book and coffee lovers. Here, if you fell in love with the book that you are reading, you can keep the book at a reasonable price.

The Nook Books Coffee is so warm and cosy that this place will make you forget that you are at a book café. All you want to do is find a corner and curl up with a good book.

This book cafe is open daily except for Tuesdays, from 9 am till 6 pm.

Contact Details:

The Nook Books Coffee
4 Khoo Cheow Teong Court
George Town, Penang

Tel:  012-525 2762

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/thenookgeorgetownpenang 

Lit Book, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Founded and managed by a husband and wife duo who are former journalists and ardent bibliophiles, Lit Books specialises in English literary titles. From collector’s editions of classics to modern and contemporary reads and of course, exciting new releases, Lit’s handpicked titles are sure to appeal to avid and casual readers alike.

More than just a bookseller, Lit was conceived to be a haven for book lovers, where conversation and discourse are encouraged and welcome. On top of books, there’s also the Lit Bar, a beverage station and a corner where readers can enjoy some coffee with their books.

Opening hours: Wednesday-Sunday: 11am-9pm, Tuesday: 1pm-9pm. Closed on Mondays.

Contact Details:

Lit Books
P-01-11 Tropicana Avenue, 12 Jalan Persiaran Tropicana, Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7886 6988

Website: https://litbooks.com.my/

 

 

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Divine Diversions

Malaysia is known for its freedom of religion as enshrined in its constitution. And this right is evident in the many religious symbols and buildings seen throughout the country. Mosques, temples, churches, gurdwaras and others…they cater not only for the believers, but with the popularity of “religious tourism” more people are interested to visit, see and learn about the religious, cultural and aesthetic significance of such places of worship.

With Chinese New Year just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to visit some of the temples in Malaysia.

If you are in the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, there is just no shortage of temples to visit. Among the notable ones is Thean Hou Temple that sits along Jalan Klang Lama or Old Klang Road. Built in 1894, it is believed to be one of the oldest and largest Chinese temples in Southeast Asia. The name is derived from Goddess Tian Hou who protects the fishermen.

This magnificent Chinese temple has golden roofed pagodas and strings of lanterns. Located inside are three majestic statues of deities, including the main deity Thean Hou. Within its grounds are statues of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac

The Temple is also known as the Temple of Goddess of Heaven, and reflecting this is its beautiful 6-tiered structure that houses a zen turtle pond, the sacred Bodhi tree and many prayer halls. A visit here is to escape the chaotic traffic jam that Jalan Klang Lama is famous for, and a balm for the stressful mind.

Tourists heading north along the PLUS highway will find temples of a different kind, partly a reflection of the unique geological contours of Perak known for its splendid limestone hills and caves.

Perak, once famous as a tin mining haven, attracted many Chinese workers to the area in search of riches. Naturally, there are many temples in the area to serve the burgeoning community.

As a capital city of Perak, Ipoh is dotted with various temples, mostly nestled among the hills and hidden away in caves. One such temple is the Sam Poh Tong Temple. It is said to be one of the oldest temples, even as old as Ipoh itself.

SAM POH TONG TAMPLE – IPOH

The temple gained popularity for its unique landscape and the caves which were carved and made into chamber halls and altars. Practically built into the limestone

inside a mountain, the temple’s unique ambience and peaceful nature adds to the sanctity of the place.

Apart from that, the temple is also popular for its collection of tortoise ponds. According to Chinese beliefs, turtles and tortoises are much associated with longevity and wealth.

Traveling east to Muslim-majority Kelantan, known as “Serambi Mekah” or  Verandah of Mecca,” one might not expect to see any temples. Surprise, surprise, one of the popular tours in Kelantan is to visit all the Buddhist temples in the state!

Whether they are Chinese or Siamese temples, the existence of such places of worship only drive home the fact that religion is freely practised throughout the state.

Tok Mek Temple in Kampung Cina, Kelantan, stands out among all other temples for its historic significance and origins. Officially known as Tin Hin Kong temple, it is reputedly the most famous Taoist temple in the state.

TOK MEK KONG TAMPLE

Known to the locals as Tokong Mek, it welcomes visitors with a bright red arch into an inner courtyard designed with colourful murals and wall relief. What is so special about the place is that therein lies within the temple a drum that was a royal gift from the Sultan of Kelantan.

While these three temples stand out among Malaysia’s landscape as unique, there are hundreds of other temples scattered all over Malaysia that deserve a visit. Some examples are the Centipede Temple in Seremban and the Snake Temple in Penang. It’s just a matter of choosing whichever temple is nearest to you, and don’t forget your photography gear to capture that viral-worthy shot!

 

Temple:   Thean Hou
Address:  65, Persiaran Indah, off Jalan Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur
Telephone:  +603-2274 7088

Temple:   Sam Poh Tong
Address:  Gunung Rapat, Ipoh, Perak
Telephone:  +605-255 2772

Temple:   Tok Mek
Address:  Jalan Kampung Cina off Jalan Pantai Cinta Berahi, 15300 Kota Bharu, Kelantan
Telephone:  +609-748 4477

 

*number may be updated/changed without prior notice

 

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