I was still trying to catch my breath when I reached the tour bus parked at Port Klang, Malaysia. The SuperStar Virgo had docked and our group was ready for a tour of Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital. It was a long walk from the ship to the bus.
“Are we still waiting for anyone else?” asked our Malaysian tour guide. She was a nice and soft-spoken middle-aged woman.
“Yes,” I responded. Winston (of BatangYagit.com) and Marcos (of Ambot-ah.com) were still in their room. After a few minutes, they climbed into the bus, relieved.
It took almost an hour to reach Kuala Lumpur. While on the road, our Tour Guide gave a brief history of Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia. Of all the facts that she shared, I found the etymology of the name Kuala Lumpur the most interesting. Kuala means confluence or the place where two rivers meet; Lumpur, mud. Kuala Lumpur means “muddy confluence” because the city was built where two rivers meet.
Our Tour Guide also explained the political system in Malaysia and I found it interesting, too. But it’s too complicated for this blog post. LOL. Suffice to say that it was a very enlightening ride to the capital, as our Guide gave bits of information about the places and structures along the way.
It took a while for us to reach our first stop: the Thean Hou Temple.
The first thing I said upon setting foot on the temple was “Can I take pictures?” I had been to a number of temples and none of them allowed taking pictures inside their temples. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when they said that tourists were allowed to snap-snap away. #Wow
The Thean Hou Temple
Here’s a bit of history: The Thean Hou Temple was built on a 1.67-acre land on top of Robson Heights. Although the construction of the temple was completed in 1987, it was formally opened in 1989. It is owned and managed by the Selangor and Federal Territory Hainan Association.
Architecture and Interior Design
Another interesting aspect of the temple is its architecture, which is a mixture of Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucianist elements. Aside from its bright red columns, its intricately designed roofs and archways are also eye-catching. When we were there, there was a major renovation happening. Fortunately, the construction doesn’t really inconvenient visitors at it happened only in one corner of the site.
Because we were only given a very short window of time to explore the place, we headed straight to the Prayer Hall, which features three altars. Each altar is dedicated to a deity. The altar in the middle is dedicated to Tian Hou. Next to it are Guan Yin, Goddess of Mercy, on the left and Shui Wei Sheng Niang, Goddess of the Waterfront, on the right.
Outside the temple is a wide area where other statues stand. The Chinese Zodiac set seemed to be the crowd favorite when we were there. There was a statue for each animal in the Chinese Zodiac and tourists were posing beside their sign. I would have loved having a pic with my sign Tiger but there were too many people.
There was also a tortoise pond and it was a delightful surprise! The tortoise (actually, turtles in general) is one of my favorite animals (along with the dolphin and the octopus).
Soon, our Guide announced that it was time to head back to the bus. We bade goodbye to the tortoises and moved along.