Lonely Planet review
The ‘Temple of Supreme Bliss’ is also the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia and one of the most recognisable buildings in the country. Built by an immigrant Chinese Buddhist in 1890, Kek Lok Si is a cornerstone of the Malay-Chinese community, who provided the funding for its two-decade-long building (and ongoing additions).
To reach the entrance, walk through a maze of souvenir stalls, past a tightly packed turtle pond and murky fish ponds, until you reach Ban Po Thar a seven-tier, 30m-high tower. The design is said to be Burmese at the top, Chinese at the bottom and Thai in between. A cable car whisks you to the highest level, which is presided over by an awesome 36.5m-high bronze statue of Kuan Yin, goddess of mercy.
There are several other temples in this complex, as well as shops and a vegetarian restaurant .
A taxi here from the centre of George Town starts at about RM25, or you can hop on bus 204 to Air Itam (RM2).