Chinese New Year in Kuala Lumpur was magical. We made it up to Thean Hou Temple after our quick stop into a random temple a few days earlier, and this time we were truly transported into another world. We had received recommendations to go see a few Chinese temples during the holiday, because they would be extra festively decorated. I suppose I can’t compare it to a Chinese New Year actually in China, but I thought it was pretty fantastic as is.
We arrived late in the evening, getting out of our Uber just as the heavens let loose with a massive downpour. #justourluck But it ended up clearing rather quickly, and although we didn’t quite get a sunset on that cloudy evening, we did enjoy the lanterns twinkling at dusk. We stayed until darkness fell completely, before heading home again.
But back to the arrival: it was wet and involved a little shrieking and scurrying, but we got a good look at the front as we scaled the three flights to the top deck. We caught a glimpse of the garden, pictured below, where all the Chinese Zodiac animals were displayed as giant statues. And then we got to the top, where we were shocked to see the KL skyline all around us. The temple had seemed so hidden, on a hill and inside it’s jungled barrier, but once we climbed above the trees we had a far-reaching view. Naturally, the cameras then came out.
Thean Hou Temple was built with structural influences from Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Fun fact: it was completed during my birth year, 1989! It is dedicated to Goddess Tian Hou, but other goddesses are also represented.
Another fun fact: we didn’t actually know any of that when we went. I just googled it all (;
We went partly for the intricate architecture and definitely for all the lanterns.
I really wish I could have adequately captured the magic in these photos. My photography has been improving all along our world trip, but my memories still shine brighter than the finished photo product. That’s how it ought to always be though, right?
After exploring all of the temple, we headed back down the back stairs and stopped by some of the external features, including a turtle pond. There were so. many. turtles. I loved it! By then it was getting quite dark and our stomachs were rumbling, so we headed back down the hill, back into the city, and back to our home-away-from-home. We caught a quick glimpse of Thean Hou Temple all lit up as we left though, and that was perhaps my favorite view of the night!