One of our favourite things to do in Malaysia is temple-hopping, as the country features some of the most beautiful places of worship in the world. More specifically, we love admiring Chinese temples and you should too, as they’ll treat you to beautiful sights and zen-like atmospheres.
In this blog, we’re going to list down some of our top picks for the most beautiful Chinese temples in Malaysia. This way, you can make the most out of your temple-hopping journey!
Chin Swee Caves Temple
Address: Exit 68, Genting Sempah, Pahang, 28750 Bentong, Malaysia
Contact details: +60 3-2179 1886
Operating hours: Opens daily from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Chin Swee Caves Temple is one of the most scenic places of worship in the country, partly because of its location. It sits atop the hilltop resort, Genting Highlands, which overlooks a sea of clouds and a patch of greenery that reaches Kuala Lumpur.
The story behind its construction is just as awe-inspiring, as it was completely built through manual labour – how crazy is that?
This is because Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong, the architect/designer had no other choice since the mountainous terrain made it difficult for machines to be used.
- Aside from the temple itself, make sure to visit other points of interest such as the 15-meter-high Buddha statue, the Sky Terrace and the Ten Chambers of Hell.
- You can also explore Genting Highlands and enjoy its hotels, resorts and theme parks while you’re here. Check out our guide to the hilltop resort here.
Thean Hou Temple
Address: 65, Persiaran Endah, Taman Persiaran Desa, 50460 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact details: +60 3-2274 7088
Operating hours: Opens daily from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
If you don’t want to veer away from the capital during your temple-hopping journey, then you must stop by Thean Hou Temple. Found inside this place of worship is a magnificent shrine dedicated to those who want to pray to the Goddess of Mercy, Guan Yin.
The temple consists of six tiers and each one is dotted with Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism elements. Before you can enter and explore it, however, you’ll be greeted by a grand entrance that features massive red pillars with dragon carvings–pretty cool!
- If you want to see the temple in its best state, we recommend visiting it at night, as this is when it will be lit up with beautiful lanterns and bright lights.
- Meanwhile, if you don’t want to visit at the same time as other tourists, we recommend going as early as 8:00 AM when it opens its doors.
Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple
Address: PT2297, Jalan Sungai Buaya, Taman Melati, 42600 Jenjarom, Selangor, Malaysia
Contact details: +60 3-3191 1533
- Tuesday to Sunday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- Monday: Closed
Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple is a lesser-known attraction in Malaysia that we think deserves more attention. It’s located in Jenjarom, which is a town in Selangor that’s mostly populated by the Chinese, so it makes sense to have a Chinese temple here.
It’s not hard to fall in love with Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple, with its massive scale and beautiful Oriental design. The main highlight here, however, is the main shrine that houses a gigantic Buddha statue where devotees can offer their prayers.
- Aside from going at night, one way to see this temple in its most beautiful and colourful form is by visiting on Chinese New Year. During this time, the temple will be filled with illuminated statues as well as lanterns.
- If you find yourself hungry during your visit, stop by the vegetarian restaurant, Waterdrop Tea House, on the temple’s premises.
Kek Lok Si
Address: Kek Lok Si Temple, Jln Balik Pulau, 11500 Air Itam, Penang, Malaysia
Contact details: +60 4-828 3317
Operating hours: Opens daily from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM
If you’re planning a trip to Penang, it’s a must to include Kek Lok Si in your itinerary, as it’s one of the island’s most famous attractions. Here, you’ll be in awe of the intricate architecture of the temple, which by the way took 40 years to complete–talk about attention to detail!
The 30-hectare land the temple sits upon features other prominent figures, one of which is the 30-metre-high (98 ft) pagoda called “Ban Po Thar”. Aside from that, visitors will be treated to another spectacle, which is the 30.2-metre (99 ft) tall bronze Guan Yin statue.
- There are no signs stating this but as a general rule of thumb, make sure to dress modestly, as this attraction is still a place of worship. To make sure you’re wearing the appropriate attire, make sure that your knees and shoulders are covered.
- If you’re bringing a car, there’s a parking space on the temple’s premises that only costs RM3, which covers the entire time of your visit.
Sam Poh Tong Temple
Address: Kampung Gunung Rapat, 31350 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Contact details: +60 5-255 2772
Operating hours: Opens daily from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
If you want a bit of adventure to go alongside your temple-hopping experience, we recommend including Sam Poh Tong Temple in your itinerary. This majestic place of worship is placed inside a cave, which you’d have to climb a whopping 246 steps before reaching.
The journey is well worth it though, as inside, you’ll be treated to stunning sights of stalagmites, stalactites and of course, the temple itself.
It’s the oldest cave temple in Ipoh, but its age doesn’t show at all, as it looks brand new, with its beautiful red pagoda and detailed architecture.
- Make sure to bring a bottle of water when entering this cave, as you’ll easily get tired during your journey, especially when climbing the 246-step staircase.
- Aside from the temple itself, you can also take photos in the well-landscape outdoor garden. Here, you’ll find beautiful bonsai trees and a large pond filled with luscious marine life.
Ling Sen Tong Temple
Address: 31350 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Operating hours: Opens daily from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Located not too far from Sam Poh Tong is another breathtaking temple named Ling Sen Tong. It stands tall at the base of a hill, giving it a scenic backdrop that consists of various limestone formations–now that’s awesome!
The combination of the manmade structure and the natural landscape of the foothill creates this amazing contrast that will make you instantly fall in love. As for the temple itself, it’s dotted with beautiful decorations that depict animals, deities and characters from Chinese stories.
- While you’re here, make sure to visit the shops located in the front of the temple. This is where you’ll find one of Ipoh’s most famous fruits, pomelo!
- Pay attention to the roof of the temple, as it’s where you can find the statues of the four heavenly kings.
Pagoda Ling San
Address: 22, Jln Teo Eeh Tee, 89150 Tuaran, Sabah, Malaysia
If you ever find yourself in Sabah, make sure to stop by the ever-so-iconic Pagoda Ling San temple. The name of this temple is derived from the Hokkien word for dragon, “Ling San,” and you’ll see why once you see the carvings and figures of this mythical beast.
Pagoda Ling San is a famous temple in Sabah that features an iconic nine-story pagoda where you can take tons of Instagram-worthy photos.
It’s not just for picture-taking, however, as you can also climb this massive tower to catch a glimpse of a beautiful panoramic view of the city.
- As much as possible, schedule your visit during a clear day. This way, your view from the pagoda won’t be obstructed by clouds!
- We also recommend exploring the yard, as this is where you’ll come across some characters from the Chinese story “Journey to the West”.
Klang Kwan Imm Temple
Address: 30, Jalan Raya Barat, Selangor Darul Ehsan, 41000 Klang, Selangor, Malaysia
Contact details: +60 16-331 6989
- Monday to Wednesday, Friday & Saturday: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
- Tuesday and Sunday: 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Klang Kwan Imm Temple is one of the oldest places of worship in Klang, or Malaysia for that matter! It’s been around for over 120 years and it still stands as if it was built in the 80s, 90s or even the 2000s because of its preserved state.
One thing you’ll notice here is it’s littered with various imagery depicting Chinese mythological creatures such as dragons. You’ll find them in all the three pavilions it houses including the main prayer room, where devotees worship Guan Yin, the goddess of mercy.
- If you can, get a guided tour so that every detail of the temple will be explained.
- You can park at the allotted space opposite the temple’s entrance if you’re planning to get here via a car rental.
Snake Temple Penang
Address: Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Bayan Lepas Industrial Park, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Contact details: +60 4-643 7273
Operating hours: Opens daily from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Snake Temple Penang is a well-known attraction on the island that garners a lot of fame from its slithering inhabitants. As you may have gleaned from its name, this temple doubles as a home for snakes, vipers, to be exact, and you can even see some of them during your visit!
The story goes that a Buddhist priest provided shelter for these snakes back when the vicinity of the temple was just a jungle.
Of course, nowadays, the area is much more modernized, but thankfully the snakes are still residing peacefully on the next-door farm and in the temple itself.
- If you’re faint-hearted, this may not be the best temple to visit, as the vipers can sometimes catch you off guard because of how little they move.
- Meanwhile, if you’re not satisfied with the amount of snakes inside the temple, you can stop by the snake farm just beside it.
Cheng Hoon Temple
Address: 25, Jalan Tokong, Kampung Dua, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Contact details: +60 6-282 9343
Operating hours: Opens daily from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cheng Hoon Temple is the oldest Buddhist temple in the country, having been around for multiple centuries since being built back in 1646. Its perfect condition today can be attributed to restorations, but nonetheless, it did a great job standing the test of time.
It was originally built as a place of worship for the goddess of mercy, Guan Yin, which is also why it’s sometimes called the Merciful Cloud Temple. This goddess is depicted as a beautiful statue that can be found in the central prayer hall of the historic site.
- This place of worship is a famous attraction thanks to its rich history. If you don’t want your visit to be crowded, we recommend going on weekdays or as early as 7:00 AM if you can only visit on weekends.
- This temple features a great location, as it’s hidden among local stores and restaurants. During your visit, try to enter one of these establishments to further add more memories to your trip.
Wat Koh Wanararm Temple
Address: Jalan Ayer Hangat, Kuah, Kedah, 07000 Langkawi, Malaysia
Operating hours: Opens daily from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM
If you’re looking for a more serene experience on your temple-hopping journey, try including Wat Koh Wanararm Temple in Langkawi. Aside from being located on a resort-like island, it feels peaceful because it rarely gets visitors because of the plethora of other activities offered here.
It’s a shame that it’s not that famous, as it’s one of the most elegant temples in the country, with its white and gold colour blocking. Furthermore, you’ll find beautiful golden statues of Buddha throughout the temple’s complex along with a massive marble statue of Guan Yin.
- If you feel like your luck has run a bit dry over the past days, weeks or even months, you should visit this temple! It’s also known as the Lucky Temple because of the laughing Buddha, which is believed to bring luck to those who rub its belly.
- You may encounter puppies during your visit to the temple and don’t worry, they’re completely friendly. Unfortunately, they’re there because the temple is a dumping site for unwanted puppies, so be sure to show them love while you’re there!
Sak Dato Temple
Address: No. 4, Jalan Besar, 71750 Negeri Sembil,, Broga, 71750 Semenyih, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Contact details: +60 3-8761 0035
Operating hours: Opens daily from 8:30 AM to 8:30 PM
Sak Dato Temple is one of the most unique Chinese temples in the country, partly because of the gigantic monkey statue that looms over it. This figure is referred to as the Monkey King or “Sun Wukong” and it stands 15 metres tall!
Aside from that, we say that this is a unique temple because of how it’s located on the border between Negeri Sembilan and Selangor. It’s also worth noting that the temple also houses several shrines dedicated to offering prayers to deities.
- While you’re here, don’t miss out on crossing the 103-metre-long suspension bridge. This is where you’ll get to breathe in some crisp air that’s coming from the huge patch of greenery surrounding the temple as well as the valley below the bridge itself.
- Remember to wear comfortable shoes when visiting this temple, as you’ll have to climb a lot of steps before you can reach it. Plus, it wouldn’t hurt to work on your cardio before visiting!
Fortune Dragon Temple
Address: 83700 Yong Peng, Johor, Malaysia
Contact details: +60 7-467 9800
Operating hours: Opens daily from 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM
If there was an award for the most striking temple in Malaysia, Fortune Dragon Temple has a strong case of winning it and for one massive reason. The reason in question is the 115-metre-long dragon tunnel, which is one of the longest and largest dragon tunnels ever.
This gigantic structure isn’t just for show too, as visitors can enter the tunnel through the dragon’s huge open mouth. Once inside, they’ll be greeted by numerous traditional Chinese paintings of ancient folklore, tales and even teachings of Buddha.
- Make sure to visit the temple’s serene garden as well, as it’s a great place to relax and slow down time. You’ll also find numerous photo-worthy spots here including a fish pond and some structures of mythical Chinese creatures.
- While you’re here, you should also stop by Dataran Gemilang Yong Peng, which is another historic landmark. It’s only a 7-minute drive away from the temple, so you’ll be hitting two birds with one stone!
Address: 1488, Jalan Kampung, Off, Jalan Kota Tinggi – Kluang, Felda Taib Andak, 81000 Kulai, Johor, Malaysia
Contact details: +60 7-213 3398
- Monday to Thursday: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- Friday to Sunday: 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Located in the middle of a bamboo forest is Putuo Village, a massive Buddhist heritage site that aims to preserve Buddhist Culture. It does this all while providing a beautiful and relaxing atmosphere for all its visitors looking to offer prayers or simply be immersed in Buddhist culture.
This village is known for housing the biggest indoor Guan Yin statue in Southeast Asia, making it even more special. It’s a beautiful sight to see in person, especially when it’s lit up with its golden lights to create this immaculate aura in the temple.
- Make sure to bring your camera and take tons of photos while you’re here! There are tons of attractions within the village that beg to be taken photos of including a giant inflatable panda bear and a hanging nest. and a wishing tree.
- This place is a tourist hotspot so make sure to get here as early as possible if you don’t want to visit at the same time as the crowd. Alternatively, you can also visit late at night if you want to admire the village in a different light.