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Kek Lok Si during Chinese New Year – Penang, Malaysia

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Kek Lok Si, or Temple of Supreme Bliss, is a sprawling complex on a hillside overlooking the town of Ayer Itam. Construction began in 1890 and has never really stopped. There are a variety of building shapes and styles, including Chinese, Burmese and Thai, all of which can be seen in the original seven storey high Ban Po That, or Pagoda of 10,000 Buddha. A more recent addition is the giant bronze statue of the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin, a shelter for which is currently under construction.

We visited at the end of Chinese New Year, when for 30 days Kek Lok Si stays open late and is lit up with thousands of lanterns and fairy lights.

Kek Lok Si by day

Kek Lok Si by day

Kek Lok Si by night during Chinese New Year

Kek Lok Si by night during Chinese New Year

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Since leaving London in 2006 I’ve travelled, worked, volunteered and lived in over 90 countries. Highlights so far would be driving along the Silk Road from Beijing to Istanbul, a complete circuit of South America and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in Costa Rica. I’m currently back in Beijing, as a base to visit more of Asia and attempt to learn Mandarin.

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