My memory of our Penang days are blurring together now, so I’m going to be sharing the notable events and trips we went on during our last few days on the island.
KEK LOK SI
After hearing about our parents’ wondrous visit to the Kek Lok Si Temple, Ruth and I got the chance to visit it too.
And what a marvel it was.
We tackled the 127 steps up to Kek Lok Si in style, i.e. attempting not to break a sweat – which is nearly impossible in 32 degree heat.
On the way up, we bypassed many a stall that had crafted their way into the steps, as well as stunning stalls. Areas of the ascent are almost playground-like, which made me thinking of the phrase “child-like faith”. You could really feel the spirit of the place in the decorated buildings and shrines, it was like magic.
We also took the cable car up to the very top of Kek Lok Si where the God in her shrine sits, and the temple is.
It is a sight of wonder and beauty and a real feast for the eyes.
There was so much to look at, and so much to enjoy, but you could really feel the spiritual nature of the place. And, the view of the whole of Penang was definitely nothing to complain about!
What I enjoyed most about visiting Kek Lok Si is watching a man be at peace praying despite the relative amount of hustle and bustle, including cars driving right between him and the idol he was praying to. I managed to capture his ritualised prayer as it sparked my curiosity.
At the temple, they also had these ribbon trees, where you paid RM1 for a ribbon of your choice and attached it to the tree – a bit like a prayer tree I suppose. I bought one but kept it to bring home. It read (in great English…): All Things As Wish For. There were others like “academic success” and “happiness” that seemed more relatable, yet they felt generic at the time, whereas I’m constantly wishing and praying for things to go well so this ribbon seemed apt.
Next to Kek Lok Si, was Pagoda, a beautiful tiered temple that from below looked like a helter skelter.
Our plan had been to venture to Penang Hill after Kek Lok Si, but we were far too shattered. The Pagoda climb and descent on top of the KLS one were tiring, and the heat had bore down on us after the sudden storm at the top of the temple.
So instead, we headed back to the hotel via the public bus, a fun experience including lots of stares and points.
More to come…