Kek Lok Si – which means ‘Temple of Supreme Bliss’ – is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia.
Situated in the small town of Air Itam in Penang, the site is easily reached by bus from Georgetown.
The bus from Komtar in the city centre cost us just two MYR per person (38p) each way in November 2017. Bus timetables can be found at http://www.rapidpg.com.my
Admission is free but take some money as you will need to pay 2 MYR to enter the pagoda and 2 MYR each way to use the elevator. There are a lot of steps up and around the temple complex, so it is a good idea to bring plenty of water.
The first stop is the Tortoise Liberation Pond, which was a bit miserable with loads of turtles jostling for space in a small pool of water.
The centrepiece is the seven-storey Pagoda of a Million Buddhas, which is 30m (98ft) high. The pagoda combines a Chinese octagonal base with a middle tier of Thai design and a Burmese crown. The pagoda area was very beautiful and peaceful, with colourful flowers and a water garden.
A golden elevator takes you further uphill where you will find the towering statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, and the chance to take some panoramic shots of the city. There were also some cute statues of monkeys, pigs, etc.
There are some food stalls and a 7/11 close to the bus stop if you need to refuel before heading back to the city.
The visit can be combined with Penang Hill, but sadly this was closed when we were there due to recent flooding.
The temple complex is open from 9am until 6pm.