Sunday, December 21, 2008

Penang Kek Lok Si (极乐寺)Temple and Dinner at Gurney Drive Hawker Centre

My old college friend was in Penang when I was back there recently, so I took his family to visit some of the famous place in Penang. Among the places we visited is the famous Penang Kek Lok Si Temple in Ayer Itam (In Hokkien it means Supreme Bliss Temple). This temple was built in 1890 and today through the generous donation of devotees the temple has been renovated extensively. Traders with zinc roof stall lined the original walkway on both side and you can window shop for things like souvenirs to nunchaku martial art weapon, made famous by the late Bruce Lee. Thinking of nunchaku, I found out recently that my dad threw away 2 of my favourite nunchakus I kept in my hometown house. Sigh, so sad! I wanted to show it off to my kids! LOL. Coming back to my visit to Kek Lok Si, it is best to visit this place during Chinese New Year, where you will see lots of lantern decorating the place. Good for your photo shot. Here are some of the random photos I took. Tortoise! Lots of tortoise. I used to buy a whole gunny sack of water convulvulus (kang kung) from the wet market in Butterworth when I was a student, ride a motorbike all the way to Penang with my elder brother and feed them to these tortoise. The middle section of Kek Lok Si entrance to the carpark. Nice flowers line the compound of the Ten Thousand Buddha Pagoda Nice view from the first floor a smaller pagoda A nice Bonsai Tree and kumquat plant already fruiting before Chinese New Year! Many types of lotus plant in one section of the temple that was closed to public and another nice bonsai tree. A new big prayer hall with impressive design. Look at the patterns on the ceiling! Nice paintings on the prayer hall. Stones and granite carvings. I love these granite fine artwork. Nice carvings! Cute elephants carvings! Lion and dragon carvings! The carvings look so alive! Stairs to the first floor of a smaller pagoda.......The famous Thai Four Face Buddha. Rows of Buddha statue........................................View of the Ten Thousand Buddha Pagoda Crane, symbol of long life and the guardian lion. View of Penang Komtar from Kek Lok Si and view of the surrounding hilly areas! By the time we came down from Kek Lok Si, it was late afternoon and the famous Ayer Itam Laksa already habis (close shop). We decided to try the food at the first coffee shop at the foothill of Kek Lok Si Temple. We ordered Char Kueh Teow, Assam Laksa and Hokkien Mee. The Hokkien Mee tasted ok, so so only for Penang standard. The laksa is normal, nothing to shout about. Well, I guess for this steep price is meant for visiting tourist. The Char Kueh Teow is rather expensive, RM 4 per plate, does not taste nice. RM4 Char Kueh Teow at the restaurant at foothill of Kek Lok Si. The Assam Laksa From Kek Lok Si we headed towards Gurney Drive. It was low tide and no sea breeze during that time. I love the sea breeze and the sound of waves pounding the rocks. It was quite hard looking for parking here, so we park at Gurney Plaza and walked over to the hawker centre. I actually don’t fancy eating here because this place is always packed and the food is not very tasty for Penang standard. We managed to get a seat at the end corner near the Gurney Drive roundabout. The Hokkien mee we ordered fail to impress our taste bud. The assam laksa was ok only. However, the Mua Chee is nice, not too sweet just nice. The lady at the Mua Chee stall is very skillful and fast in cutting the Mua Chee! Chop, chop, and chop, wow, real fast! My friend loves the Ice Kacang. Gurney Drive Mua Chee.........................................View of Gurney Drive at night
Gurney Drive Ice Kacang......................................Gurney Drive Assam Laksa!


Kikey Loo said...

A lot of nice pictures abt kek lok si.

miss laksa.. :p

Anonymous said...

Damn, Penang laksa with prawn paste! My favourite! And your temple post reminds me that I've been putting off putting Thean Hou Temple in my blog. =.=

Cecile said...

i am drooling right now seeing the assam laksa and the ice kakang :-)


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