Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur

 

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One of the most popular (and most beautiful!) Chinese temples in Kuala Lumpur is Thean Hou Temple, dedicated to the Heavenly Mother or Thean Hou Mo. Built in the 1980s, the sprawling complex is still well kept – with arching orange roofs topped with dragons and phoenixes, whitewashed walls and quaint side gardens.

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I’ve been here a couple of times, and the place is especially festive during Chinese New Year or religious festivities. At other times, it’s a great place to meditate in the prayer chambers or sit and admire the architecture, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The editor and I were around the area for an assignment so I brought her for a quick visit.

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The ground floor is used for functions; the main shrine is accessed by stairs. Once up, visitors are greeted by a spacious courtyard that commands a scenic view of the Kuala Lumpur skyline. Pillars written with auspicious words and blessings line one side of the compound, accentuated by vividly coloured ceilings of blue, green and gold. Clouds, phoenixes, patterns, water and dragons are common decorative motifs.

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A sea of yellow lanterns.

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Prayer urn where devotees can place their joss sticks.

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Inside the hall, photography is allowed but visitors are required to be respectful when taking pictures. The prayer area houses three deities; namely the Heavenly Mother, Goddess of Mercy (Gwanyin) and Waterfront Goddess (Swei Mei) . Smaller deities sit at the bottom of the large golden statues, which are surrounded by prayer light towers. The walls are lined with pictures of small Bodhisattvas, donated by devotees to accumulate merits (or karma).

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What I really like about the space is the ceiling. Right in the middle is this beautiful dome inlaid with blue, red and gold patterns on top of each other, with a dragon on clouds in the middle. The craftsmanship is superb – rivalling those of European churches.

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Thean Hou Temple is definitely worth the visit if you’re ever in KL –  for the culture, architecture and beautiful sights. Entrance is free.

THEAN HOU TEMPLE 

65, Persiaran Endah, Taman Persiaran Desa, 50460 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Opening hours: 9am – 6pm

Getting There

Since the place is on top of a hill and at a dead end, buses or trains do not service the area. Best to take a taxi or Uber.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travelogue 1#: Thean Hou Gong Temple KL

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Today is Chap Goh Mei aka Chinese Valentine’s Day, the last day of Chinese New Year. Traditionally, Chinese maidens threw oranges into the sea/rivers in hopes of getting a good husband.
…The above story is totally unrelated to the picture of angku tat my auntie made. Look at the shape of that thing! Weird.

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After lunch, we went to Thean Hou Temple in KL. They’re celebrating their 120th anniversary this year and the place was jam packed with people since it was Chap Goh Mei festival.

(Above) Statue of Guan Yin. Water spouts out from her little bottle.

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They also had lanterns on display depicting the 12 Chinese horoscope animals. Too bad it wasn’t night time.

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A 2-storey lantern with a cow sitting on top of it.

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With all the lantern decos, it would be beautiful to visit at night but it would be even more full of people at that time, so we went early.

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Give a donation and take joss sticks for praying from this counter/box. Its up to you to determine the amount to donate.

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Statue of Mazu, Goddess of the Sea.

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The roof of the temple with elaborate carvings of deities and the bodhisattva depicted in them.

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Wishing lights shaped like lotus flowers. Light them up and pray for your prayers to come true.

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“Kam” or gold money which signifies wealth and prosperity.

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After praying, devotees put the joss sticks in this huge urn.

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Lots of pretty wishing lights.

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Monks performing blessing rituals and tying holy strings, to protect it’s wearer.

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One of the deities, the Yellow Jambala.

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Cousin performing a bathing ritual for the deity, for good luck and good fortune.

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The calligraphy pen I got from praying to the Wen Chang Di Jun. Put it on the study table and it will help to achieve better results in your studies.
Supposedly.

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My cousin got this from the fortune telling booth. The line was super long, we had to wait like, half an hour to get one. In those TVB dramas, people usually shake the container with a lot of wooden sticks until one falls out. Nowadays it’s become more modern. You just thump the rotating device and one will jump out. LOL
So this was her fortune for the year.

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A lotus flower bud

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Magnificent temple architecture

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Shrine at the top of the temple. You can see almost the entire view of KL from up here.

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Intricate phoenix statue

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And the customary dragon statue.

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This angle is nice, coz it looks like the dragon is emerging into the sun.

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Over at the function hall some creative lanterns were on display, such as these twin dragons made from recycled soft drink cans!

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Another eco-friendly lantern, made from recyclable plastic bottles. So you get to have fun, AND save the environment at the same time.

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The outdoor stage area was already filling up around 5 pm, since people wanted to get good seats for the night’s performance. Cute guys in lion dance pants were seen walking around all over the place teehee

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Boiled herbal eggs and quail eggs

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Troupe of little boys with their big bad drums. Really talented kids!

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Animal zodiac signs in the outdoor area.

And that concludes our visit to the temple. Time to nom!

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We went to a vegetarian restaurant in PJ New Town. The house specialty here is charsiew. Of coz its not real char siew la. But it tasted delicious. ^^

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And my personal fave: buttered frog legs. (they’re not real frog legs, a reminder)
Trust me, I grew up in this area. It’s so nostalgic to be back here again and reminisce of all the places I used to hang out at. Mum used to take me here all the time when I was a kid and she was working with Popeye at the land surveying office(from 1994 – 2002, i was basically a local in this area)
The restaurant’s name is NEU vegetarian restaurant, located near the MALAYSIAN INSTITUTE OF BAKERY, just a few blocks away. It’s been around since foreva, so try asking around for the way coz i dunno the exact address. :p
That’s all. Toodles!