Kek Lok Si Temple

Buddhist Temple in Air Itam & Penang Hill

Staggered on hillside terraces overlooking Air Itam, around 8km from the centre of George Town, Malaysia's largest Buddhist temple is a visual delight. Built between 1890 and 1905, Kek Lok Si is the cornerstone of the Malay-Chinese community, which provided the funding for its two-decade-long construction (and ongoing additions). Its key features are the seven-tier Ban Po Thar pagoda and an awesome 36.5m-high bronze statue of Kuan Yin, goddess of mercy.

To reach the temple's main entrance, you'll have to run the gauntlet of souvenir stalls on the uphill path. You'll also pass a pond packed with turtles and the complex's vegetarian restaurant. There are a lot of stairs involved, but the final stretch up to the statue of Kuan Yin is covered by a funicular.