Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Kek Lok Si temple

Kek Lok Si is a Buddhist temple complex on the hillside overlooking Georgetown. The pagoda on the right is the oldest part of the complex. The base of the seven-storey pagoda is Chinese, the middle tier reflects Thai design, and the crown is in Burmese style.

I got off the local bus in the middle of a busy street market at Air Hitam and followed Trip Advisor's instructions. A side road leads to a narrow, dark laneway stepping up the hill, crowded with souvenir shops. Before I reached half way I was drenched in sweat. Just keep following the signs (if you can find them).

I climbed up the first three levels of the pagoda, more to get the cooling breeze and to enjoy the views than with any appreciation of the buddhas along the way.

Back down, the path continues through more souvenir shops with devotional music blaring. I found myself chanting along; Om Mani Padme Hum, Om Mani Padme Hum. The shops had signs indicating that photography was not welcome, but I amused myself by trying to find the tackiest Monkeys. Plenty of choice.

In a pond full of turtles these guys were having their morning meeting. Reminded me of the Rotorua Public Library for some reason.

A short cable car ride (a further sauna experience) takes you to the upper level of the complex which is overseen by the massive bronze statue of the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin.

 She's flanked by and dwarfs these scary dudes, who are actually pretty big themselves. They represent her two warriors.

At the shrine near her base, you can buy ribbons for prayers for children. Kuan Yin represents the ultimate compassion and mercy but is said to have forsaken nirvana to bestow comfort to children. I liked the offering of pink buns on the shrine.

All that was generating a bit of an appetite, and luckily there's a very good vegetarian restaurant in the complex.

Image result for malaysian kingfisher
I spotted one of these while in the cable car.
Scroll down to see the cheerful buddha who watched over me while I enjoyed lunch. I would really like to buy some of those red and green flashing lights that winked away on either side of the table.
Here's looking up your nostrils kid. 

And that's today's story folks. Enjoy!

Funny things, turtles. 

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