Let me introduce my brother Alvin. He has been accompanying me during the journey of visiting all the tourist spots throughout Peninsular of Malaysia. Both of us are born in Melaka and raised up in Ipoh, Perak. He is a great father and a grandfather, a husband and a great leader in his own kingdom. He has all the masculinity that envied by others. He is wise in his decision making. He is admired by his subordinates by his management. He is talented in many things such as Kungfu and in culinary preparation. He is the perfect man that many women envied. He has all the long list if I want to compliment. Best of all he is very well known for his kind hearted and friendliness, he always helps others. He is also very good in singing too. Perfect man! Thank you brother for allowing me to share our experiences in my Travel Blog.
Ipoh is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Perak. Located by the Kinta River, it is nearly 180 km north of Kuala Lumpur and 123 km southeast of George Town in neighboring Penang.
Ipoh’s setting, among limestone hills in the Kinta valley, is magnificent.
Whether you approach by road or rail, you’ll be wowed. There are furry-looking green trees clinging to the slopes, with pinkish granite rock in places where they’ve been washed away. It’s so pretty.
So we talk about the famous Limestone Hills in Ipoh. There are many caves in these outcrops, some of which have cave temples built in them. The Sam Poh Tong Temple (三宝洞) is a notable example, along with Kek Lok Tong (極乐洞; Cavern of Utmost Happiness), which lies on the other side of the same outcrop. It is accessible through the Gunung Rapat housing area. Other cave temples in Ipoh include Ling Sen Tong, Nan Tian Tong, Kwan Yin Tong and Perak Tong. There are more than 30 cave temples in and around Ipoh.
In the year of 2018, we had a marathon of visiting all the temples in Ipoh. Name it, Tibetan Temple, Siamese Temple, Hindu Temple and Taoist Temple.
Tibetan temple: Enlightened Heart Buddhist Temple
It is a sprawling Tibetan temple complex with a tall pagoda tucked away in a hidden valley in the Tambun district of Ipoh, Perak. This temple, with its imposing 13 storey pagoda and large standing Buddha statue, should be one of the top tourist attractions in Perak but it appears to be less visited than it deserves, perhaps due to its out-of-the-way location.
The pagoda, known as the Enlightened Heart Medicine Buddha Bhaishaya Guru Pagoda, measures 72 meters in height making it one of the tallest in the world, though far behind the Tianning pagoda in China which, at 154 m, is over double the height. The design of the pagoda is unconventional with an enormous opening from the 8th floor upwards through which an 11 meter high gold colored Shakyamuni Buddha statue overlooks hills, ponds, and pomelo farms towards Ipoh city.
When we were half reaching the temple, we were awed by the amazing height of the Pagoda. Although the driving into the temple is a big challenging, but I promised, it is worth visiting with family and friends. The temple architecture was so magnificent. We climbed to the highest of the Pagoda by following the arrow, it is believed that by rounding the Pagoda. All your bad lucks and vibes were will transformed into good luck. So we did it. We also turn the bell on the wall and chant. As we reached the top, it is so magical and feeling uplifted.
Oh yes, do not miss out the other temple behind. It is also Tibetan, there are many Tara’s in all sorts of colors. You will notice this temple that is built in the cave with a standing Buddha statute.
Guan Yin Temple, Ipoh
Also located within Gunung Rapat, Kwan Yin Tong is a lesser known cave temple dedicated to the deity Guan Yin (or Kwan Yin), venerated as a goddess of mercy in many East Asian cultures and religions. The temple’s modest front belies an impressive main chamber, which extends for about 20 metres under the cliff. Inside, the floor is tiled over with marble and the walls are whitewashed to about two-storeys high, leaving the rest of the cave’s natural state intact.
A main Guan Yin statue sits at the altar, flanked by dozens of smaller gold ones lining the walls. There are a total of 75 Guanyin statues in this temple. Kwan Yin Tong has numerous nooks and crannies to explore. Look out for a shrine dedicated to pet dogs and a hidden spot where hundreds of tiny Buddha statues have been painstakingly screwed onto the cliff face. There are also commercialized attractions such as a 3D art museum and a wishing well.
To remind you, my co-director Bunny visited this temple in the year of 2015. He had the most unforgettable moment. I had the most laughs in my belly. The bunny is the curious type of person. Seeing is believing. So at that time, it was almost 5.30 evening, Bunny was with the GoPro recording the surrounding. We heard a glass broken on the floor. Bunny asked me, “Did I hear that?”. Normally Chinese will be kept quiet because we are afraid of the spirits may follow us home. What happened is, the spirit followed us home because of Bunny acknowledged it. As we reached home, Bunny saw a big white fog like a cat followed Bunny and went under the bed. Hahaha, the next day, we have to visit a medium(Sifu) in another temple for some prayers. The medium told us that is was the spirit of a baby girl. Gosh, I had goosebumps all over. Luckily, the baby girl spirit has peacefully gone back to where she belongs after the prayers. At last, Bunny learned the lesson, keep the mouth shut whenever visiting temples.
Especially during the Chinese New Year celebration, this temple are open till midnight from the 1st day of Chinese New Year till Chap Goh Mei (the 15th day of Chinese New Year). There will be a lot food and drinks stalls, fun fairs and the temples are open for the devotees for prayers. Bear in mind, during this period, it is very packed by the tourist and devotees. The car has to be park along the road side. It is well recommended for the visits.
Wat Puthanimittan Siamese Temple , Ipoh
Is a Thai Buddhist temple at Taman Kemuncak which is a quiet residential area at the foot of one of Ipoh’s many spectacular karst limestone hills.
Taking pride of place is a 10 meter high Shakyamuni Buddha statue in the seated lotus position (actually half-lotus if you want to be precise). I believe it is made of concrete and fiber glass but from a distance you could easily think it is made of white marble. At the foot of the state is a plaque inscribed with the preaching of Somdet Sammasambuddha Chao Ong on how to avoid going to the realm of Hell after death.
The statue is guarded by a pair of Chinese-style green dragons. The temple compound contains a number of other statues and buildings.
This Thai Buddhist temple has a different of ambience, felt like in another part of the world. Serendipity. I love the small children monk statues, they were wearing sunglasses. So adorable. If you are a gambler or love to buy 4D (Lottery), go and ask some chanting from the monk. There is a small man made cave next to the Buddha statues. It is very noticeable. As I took a glance inside the small cave, I was terrified. Because there are unique statues such as the shaman in tiger skin and also ancient Chinese Admiral clothes in the Tang Dynasty. This special cave is conducted by a very great monk, he also a healer for health. My sister being blessed with a Thai Mask on her head and also she took a Ringgit Malaysia note for the monk to write and chant for prosperity. Don’t forget to hand some money to the monk for his chanting because those money are for the donations to the temple. So if you ask me whether was it good, If only you believe it, give it a try. Who knows you will be the next millionaire? Don’t forget to invite me for AH YAT Abalone in Genting Highlands, Pahang for a treat. heheh
There is also a fun park for the monkeys beside the temple, take a chill and enjoy with the company from the monkeys. They are very friendly and they may entertain you with their tricks. Have fun!
There are still some more uncovered of hidden temples in Ipoh, Perak and also some famous temples. We will continue again. See you.
Index links for references :