Sunday, April 19, 2009

Daytripping: Penang Hill & Kek Lok Si

One of the adventures and joys of exploring new cities is figuring out the public transportation system. After catching the bus heading the wrong direction, then having to wait at the dock for 15 minutes while they changed drivers, being told we owed more money and exact change only; a stick of gum and exact change later we were on our way to the top of Penang Hill for a great view of Georgetown and the island.The British found the view to be beautiful as well and built a pulley tram that we road to the top
and enjoyed magnificent views of the island
At the top of the tram there was a Hindu Temple and a Muslim MosqueAs we came closer to the interestingly ornate Hindu Templewe realized there was a ceremony of some sort happening
After wandering through the temple grounds we boarded the tram and headed back down the hill and on to our next destinationIf only all the hotel staff we encountered on our travels were as helpful as the staff at the Mingood Hotel in Penang. Notice there's no link? Well that's because we wouldn't recommend staying there other than for the incredibly helpful staff. The staff at the hotel suggested if we were headed to Penang Hill we should go to Kek Lok Si, the largest buddhist temple in SE Asia. And what a suggestion it was.
The huge temple is built right into the Penang hills and is a massive compound with multiple grand and ornate buildings.The temple had the largest collection of the most unique buddhas we had ever seenWe made our way up through the beautiful temple courtyards
through the largest gift shop we have ever seen and up the tram to the large outdoor bronze buddhas with incredible views of the island
In one day we experienced British Colonial history, Hindu history, and Buddhist history. Just your typical day on the wonderfully diverse island of Penang, Malaysia.

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