Kek Lok Si Temple

Top choice in Penang

Malaysia's largest Buddhist temple is a colourful explosion of statues, pagodas and pavilions, cascading down a hillside in Air Itam, around 8km from the centre of George Town. The original temple was built between 1890 and 1905, but subsequent worshippers have created a virtual city of temples, shrines and gardens. A funicular climbs to the floral, seven-tiered Ban Po Thar pagoda and an awesome 36.5m-high bronze statue of Kuan Yin, goddess of mercy.

If you don't take the funicular to reach the temple's upper levels, you can walk steeply uphill on the road. After exploring the terraces, stop to refuel at the complex's vegetarian restaurant.