There’s no perfect day to visit Buddhist temples but on Chinese New Year. Why?

  • “Let the smoke from the burning incense cleanse away the old bad luck.
  • Let Budda and Quan Yin Bodhisattva bless you with the new good luck.
  • Let your heart open for new friends and happiness.
  • Let yourself meet the people, whom you care, and wish them “A Happy New Year.”
  • Let the beauty of the new blossoms in the garden of the temple color your new year.
  • Let the fresh sense of the Spring flower carry you to paradise.” (Sourced from here).
  • And so we did.  Together with 8 Pinoy colleague-friends, we trooped to the island via rented van and paid these wonderful places at Pulau Pinang a visit.

    First stop : SNAKE TEMPLE

    “Built in 1850, the Snake Temple also known as the Temple of Azure Cloud is dedicated to Chor Soo Kong, a priest who was believed to have extraordinary healing powers. However, according to local folklore, a religious man offered the venomous pit vipers shelter from danger and since then, they have stayed in safety of the temple.

    It isn’t called Snake Temple without those creatures I feared the most. (Now, you know my phobia!). Believe me, other than the small Snake Farm beside the temple, they’re scattered at few plants and branches!  

     Kiapo or water cabbage (where the name of Quiapo in Manila was rooted from) never fails to catch my attention. I don’t know, it’s only green and seems to be ordinary to some but everytime I see one, the sight makes me smile.  

    Another object of my fascination are these candles in Buddhist temples; mostly we’ve seen were pineapple and lotus-shaped ones. 


    It was almost high noon when we left Snake Temple and moved on to our next destination…

    We took our lunch before asceding to the next temple; most of us came with baon (homecooked foods) from Kare-Kare complete with sweet and spicy bagoong, Pita with tomato salsa, Glass noodles with mushrooms, ponkan and some slices of apples. We also ordered Roast Pork rice toppings from the restaurant that made the meal complete.  After our hearty lunch, we began walking the streets toward Kek Lok Si Temple. Enroute, we bought few things we fancied…

    Iced Sugar Cane juice.  Note how Malaysians serve takeaway beverages (in plastic with tie and straw)…

    Then one of my senior colleagues spotted a nice and affordable hat with the name of the country we’re serving. The four of us (Dr. Carlo’s not in photo) bought each of different colors lah!

    Second stop :  KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

    If you’re from Pinas and have been to its Summer Capital, then you’re familiar with Mines View Park.  Remember those stalls that sell all kinds of souvenirs from key chains to T-shirts and others, that’s the same scene you’ll see as you go up from the street to the main Kek Lok Si Temple itself.  Useful tip : Hold on to your wallets, heads up for a great chance of shopping!

    After passing those venue for haggling, this sight of tranquility welcomed us.

    Set amidst the lush greens of the mountain, the temple looks spectacular!

    “Kek Lok Si Temple means, “Temple of Supreme Bliss”. Construction began in 1890, with the completion of its seven-storey handcrafted “Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas” in 1930.  The pagoda is considered one of Penang’s most beautiful architectural wonders with its Chinese octagonal base, Thai middle tier and a Burmese crown. A 30.2  Kuan Yin bronze statue was completed in 2002.”

    It was indeed a blissful experience at least for me who was awed by the beauty of this temple…

    Those were WISHING RIBBONS available at RM1 (PhP 14) each. I bought 5 and hang it on the tree for offering…

    I chose Everlasting Relationship in Marriage, Success in Career (of course, what am I here in Penang for?)

    ……Health, Safety for Entire Family

    and of course, how could I forget the classic, World Peace, FTW! 😛

    (Seriously, Egypt’s current unrest and all disputes elsewhere should be settled, so help us God!)

    Inside Kek Lok Si Temple, I saw this Happy Buddha that I’d like to buy; but asking for discount inside the shrine wasn’t allowed for proceeds go to the temple itself. It charmed me extremely that I wish when I get the chance to bring Gabby and Tina here when they arrive in Penang on late March, it’s still available.

    Some more scenes from Kek Lok Si Temple…

    photo taken by our senior-colleague, the insipiring (yeeha!) Dr. Yambao via his D7000.

    The visit to the two temples led us to another two more. If you’ve been following my adventures in Penang, you know that I’ve been to Thai and Burmese Buddhist Temples in Burma Road, Georgetown already August last year. 

    The stunning facade of Thai Buddhist Temple…


    where one of biggest images of the Reclining or Sleeping Buddha is enshrined..

    Immediately across the road, you’ll find Burmese Buddhist Temple…

    where one of the tallest standing Buddha statues is venerated…

    “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”-Buddha.

    Then we met our foreign colleagues at the Burmese temple, they were also enjoying the holiday of course.

    Photo taken by the amazing, Dr. Manuel Yambao!

    But just after Kek Lok Si Temple and prior to going to Thai and Burmese Temples, we requested our Indian driver to take us to Air Itam uphill the Kek Lok Si Temple…

    Photo-op by the dam taken by Dr. Yambao with his D7000…(I’m inspired to get one and be under his tutelage!)

    Taken using Dr. Yambao's D7000...

     It was where we experienced breathtaking view of Ayer Itam Dam…

    Without a doubt, God’s presence was felt as we appreciated Mother Nature’s simplicity…

    The place is SURREAL! It’s absolutely perfect if you want to escape from the stressful life even for a heart beat. It’s a great place to lay down on the grass under the shade of a tree and do nothing but breathe.

    One of my friend-housemates gave in to the place’s temptation to doze off…

    Our last stop was at Fort Cornwallis located just before the Jetty port in Georgetown, Penang…

    We decided not to enter this walled battery of Georgetown anymore.  I’m sure, with due respect to Penang’s history, our Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila and Corregidor Island in between Cavite and Bataan are far better. And so we just sat and had lazy moments watching the crows at the baywalk in front of the fort.

    Did I had fun?

    You bet.

    To my fellow colleague-friends, Drs. Yambao, Beeboo, Naomi (and her Ole), Carlo, Dante (and his Laine) and Roy, thank you!  Sa uulitn, ha! 😀

    The celebration of CNY here in Penang isn’t over yet.  More things to enjoy over the weekend…

    I’ll try to chase dancing lions and dragons tomorrow…



    20 thoughts on “4 BUDDHIST TEMPLES AND A DAM IN 1 DAY

    1. Splendid! Well said and captured! I envy your photoblogs, i wish i could do the same….
      i will leave the blogging to you and just enhance and inspire your photography talent and skill….in short get the D7000 hahahaha

      1. sama ka na kay rob, hilahin nyo pati si dyan on march 23-24 sya dito sa penang! i wish gabby and tina to be here a week earlier than rob’s arrival para masaya pag pinasyal namin siya (o kayo?!) let’s go!

      1. sheng, who would have thought that i’ll work in malaysia and experienced these places?
        you’ll get to places, soon.
        di pa ako nakapag europe, i’m dreaming to go there someday. *sigh*

    2. HUWAW, what a nice way to celebrate CNY! Ang gondo gondo ng mga places na pinuntahan nyo. Pero medyo nakakatakot naman yata yung Snake Temple. Sobrang takot pa naman ako sa snakes, baka maihi lang ako dun sa takot. Hahaha!

    3. O, doc, magkalapit ba yung mga temples, kuha niyo in one day? I will miss all the CNY activities this weekend dahil busy kami sa aming reunion. Three of my photgraphy groups are going to Chinatown!

      Frankly, the only Buddhist Temple I have been to is the one in Cebu, and the next will be in March with our photogroup.

      Saya niyo! Mukhang tulog na sila Gabby at Tina diyan to settle permanently. Good luck!

    4. wowowowow!!! Amazing trips gelow!!! I want to see also those places that u have seen. wahh..bakit nga ba ako minigraine that day, e di sana ako ang naging model..hidi c papa roy! (just kidding)! More! More!:-))

    5. First of, i need all those reasons to visit a Buddhist temple! 😉
      …AND all your pics WOWED me, Doc gelo! it says it all and BIG thanks for sharing!

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