Saturday, July 6, 2013

Cuti-cuti "Half" Peninsular Malaysia - Day 2 - Temples Tour in Kelantan

Kelantan housed a lot of Buddhist temples, including the largest reclining Buddha statue in South East Asia, the largest sitting Buddah status in South East Asi, and the largest standing Buddha statue in South East Asia! So, on Day 2, I planned a half-day-temples tour. We covered 4 temples, including Wat Mai Suwankhiri (Dragon Boat Temple), Wat Pikulthong (Standing Buddha), Wat Matchimmaram (Sitting Buddha), and Wat Photovihan (Reclining buddha). While on Day 3, we covered Wat Phothikyan before heading to Kuala Terengganu.

1) Wat Mai Suwankhiri
Dragon Boat Temple
In my opinion, this is the prettiest temples among the 5 temples that we have visited. The original temple was said to have been built 400 years ago but the current structure has been built for over the past 50 years. There is the beautiful dragon boat temple, and the main shrine hall where most the fine artworks are housed.
Oh, and I MUST pointed out that the wax statue of Phor Than Di in the main hall will put any wax statues in Madame Thussauds to shame! (Sorry, for respect reason, I didn't take the photo of the wax statue.) One can simply feel the kindness and humbleness without fail.

The Main Hall


2) Wat Pikulthong 

Wat Pikulthong temple is relatively smaller. However, you won't miss this temple since the Buddha statue is standing tall. Facing the standing Buddha, there is a graveyard and a fish pond on your left while on your right is a school inside the compound of the temple. We had a only brief stop since most of the area is still under construction.


3) Pantai Tujuh
While on our way to search for the other temples (Waze failed to bring us, pointed us to the middle of the main road towards Thai Border), we got lost for a short while, and ended up having a short fun time at Pantai Tujuh.

My aunts went to the loo, my father went chit chat with the locals at the food stalls, while Sonia, Wei and mum examined and investigated the spirally coiled shells that populated the bay area.


Sonia learning the trick of reconstructing the pine leaves



4) Wat Matchimmaram
I forgot to set the location of Wat Matchimmaram in my Waze and hence it was already out of my itinerary. However, when we were on our way to the Reclining Buddha temple, we saw this huge sitting Buddha and we decided to make a stop. How can we not visiting the biggest sitting Buddha statue in South East Asia?

The temple is full with murals of stories from the Sutras. A bit scary for the little girl though.

While we were there, we were please to see the REAL MALAYSIA, the true racial harmony that our ancestors practiced, and still true in Kelantan. Wei Wei got a better picture to demonstrate this.

Another thing that I remembered about this temple, is the beautiful water hyacinth flowers. Despite staying quite near to the river for a few years in Taman Sri Rambai, I have never seen the water hyacinth blossom! This is so pretty.



5) Wat Photovihan
Reclining Buddha

Wat Photovihan must be the most famous temple in Kelantan. This 40m long statue has a long history. It was completed in year 1979. I think I have a few photos of the 5-years-old-me standing in front of the statue hidding somewhere in the old photo albums.

By the time we reached the temple, we were already out in the sun for almost 6 hours. Everyone was exhausted (you know la~ Malaysia weather).

We were so glad to see a few food stalls in the temple compound. After we parked our cars, my parents and aunts rushed to the shady stall for some refreshing fresh coconut juice while 3 of us had fun playing with the puppies.

None of us wanted to walk into the sun and walk towards the temple. It was until we realized it's almost time to go back to Kota Bharu town, and we shouldn't come to the temple compound and not paying respect to the Buddha, we finally dragged ourselves to the temple.


The Reclining Buddha (or we called "Sleeping Buddha" in Mandarin) is as huge as I remembered. The 12 Chinese Zodiac statues are still as eerie as I could remember. I tried my best to explain the stories of Gautama Buddha as per in the drawings but I think I failed miserably.
Before we leave the temple, Si Yi and Sonia made wishes by throwing coins into the huge alms bowl. Si Yi's coin went right into the alms bowl in one throw and that concluded our temple tours.
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