Kek Lok Si temple

Kek Lok Si Temple sits on the foothills above the town of Air Itam (black water in Malay).

I shouldn’t have expected dramatic changes to this Penang landmark.

Typical of religious places of worship in Malaysia, they derive their funding based solely on donations.

Unlike mosques which seem to sprout all over, there are no funds from the government.

So this temple is pretty much how I remember it.

The climb to the top of the temple is not terribly strenous but does require some exertion.

As a kid, I always looked forward to the little shops that line the steps leading up to the temple. Those shops sold all manner of souvenirs and other tourist wares.

On this visit, I noticed there were fewer and fewer that were open for business.

Hopefully this was just a day when it was slow and not typical.

I feel for these merchants who have to make a living.

New to this tourist attraction is a Goddess of Mercy statue.

I don’t know of the exact height but what I do know is that there was mandate that this particular statue was not to be taller than the minarets of the State Mosque.

Visitors who don’t want to climb a flight of stairs up to see this statue can pay 3 ringgit to take the inclined elevator up.

The cost may be steep for the tightwad but truly all the proceeds go towards the temple’s construction fund.

Here’s a picture of the temple from the 60’s. From left to right: my grandmother, mum, dad and my mum’s sister are in the picture. The baby in the picture is my sister.