Kek Lok Si is like the symbol of Penang. Long before we have the tallest building in Penang, the KOMTAR, we already have Kek Lok Si temple. It is a pagoda that sits atop a hill in Air Itam.
Two mornings ago, I went to the Air Itam market and had a chance to take a photo of the Kek Lok Si during the day.
Next to the Kek Lok Si, there is a huge standing Kuan Yin statue. Too bad that the statue is now covered with scaffolding because they are constructing some pillars around the statue.
This is the photo of the giant statue of Kuan Yin in Air Itam. The photo was taken in 2006, I think. Right now they are building some tracks or rail or cable car (wateva lah, I only know it looks ugly) to link Kek Lok Si temple to this Guan Yin statue. I personally feel that they have overdone on the ‘modernisation’ part. I would prefer a more serene and natural surrounding instead of those ugly metal structures all around.
Anyway, back to Kek Lok Si temple, the above is a photo taken during the night. You know what? I braved traffic jams to go up to take photos. Some tourists hired taxis. But they switched off the lights at 9.15 pm!
I was like, “Haiyorrr…..no money to pay TNB kah? So early already switched off light?!?!?!” The sky gets dark only around 7.30 pm. So, there is only a short time to enjoy the lights, isn’t it?
I was just about to take photo when I notice some of the lights were switched off. Before I can even mount the tripod, the whole pagoda disappeared in darkness. The temple gate is locked and the whole place was rather spooky because hubby drove up to the Kuan Yin temple. There was no light and huge steel construction stuctures were all over the place. We cabut really fast because the Kuan Yin temple is a columbarium, which house deceased people’s ashes!
Since I am in the mood to talk about dead people ashes, I tell you another story. Initially, before we drove up to Kek Lok Si, my hubby took me to the ‘Miao Siang Ling’ columbarium at the foot hill of Penang Hill. He took me straight to the back and told me I can go up to the balcony where I will have superb views of the Kek Lok Si from that height.
It was dark, there was no nun or monk around, practically deserted except for a few stray dogs. I demanded he faster drive me out of the place because I cannot imagine climbing up to the balcony where hundreds and maybe thousands of memorial tablets are there. He told me, “Scared of what lah…maybe my brother-in-law (died in June) can even help you to set your DSLR shutter speed and aperture.”
So, Penang folks and those visiting Penang, if you are going to take photo of Kek Lok Si, remember to go early.