Kuala Lumpur is a melting pot of cultures, and as such has a large amount of religious sites to explore; from Hindu temples and mosques to Buddhist temples. But even if religious sites are not your to go to activity when exploring a city, there is one particular temple that you might want to include on your Bucket List: the Thean Hou temple. A 6-tier temple, rich in colors and offering an impeccable view over Kuala Lumpur, truly one of the most beautiful temples I have seen in Southeast Asia. The Thean Hou Temple is one of the largest temples in Malaysia and Southeast Asia and was not completed till 1987; officially opening its doors in 1989. Since then it has been a popular site visited by hundreds of tourists on a daily basis. Intrigued? Find more info on visiting the Thean Hou Temple below.
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How to get to the Thean Hou Temple
The Thean Hou Temple is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital. Malaysia’s capital is filled with stunning sites such as the Batu Caves. The temple is located Southwest of the city on top of a hill, offering a great view for its visitors. Find a map below to help you!
But now the most important part, how do you get there? There are two different ways to get to the Thean Hou temple:
Option 1 (for the budget travelers), via public transport – Kuala Lumpur has quite an extensive public transport network, making it easy to make your way through the city on a budget. And the best thing is, it is fairly cheap. From wherever you are located in the city find a metro or monorail to KL Sentral. Prices are depending on your location but I would say are roughly between 1 – 4 MYR per person, one way; you can use Google Maps for an accurate price of your trip. From here it is a 30 min walk (including the last 700m uphill) to the temple. The walk will take you through little India, over a highway and to the hill where the temple is located. I would recommend using Maps.me for an accurate walking route on your phone to be sure you won’t get lost on your way!
Example cost from Bukit Bintang: Monorail ticket one way 2.5 MYR.
Option 2 (for the non budget travelers or travelers that don’t have a lot of time) use Grab – Grab is an app that is very commonly used in Southeast Asia, it is kind of the same like Uber, with some countries (such as Vietnam) offering rides on the back of motorbikes instead of cars. Download the app, type in your pick up point and your destination and the app will find you a driver. No need to connect your creditcard, you can pay the driver in cash upon arrival. I have used Grab many times in Malaysia, and have never been disappointed. Just be sure you have wifi on your phone, or a local sim card, to arrange a driver and to arrange to be picked up again from the Thean Hou temple once done with your visit!
Example cost from Bukit Bintang: Grab Taxi one way 16 MYR.
Thean Hou Temple – Know Before You Go
Opening Hours Thean Hou Temple: the opening hours of the temple are from 8am to 10pm. I would recommend going as early in the morning as possible, as around 9.30am tour buses will start arriving making the temple a lot busier, and in my opinion, less pleasant to visit. As Kuala Lumpur has quite a tropical climate I would also be sure to check the weather in advance as walking up hill during mid day, when the sun is at its highest, is not always recommended.
Entry Fee for the Thean Hou Temple: Free. Yes, you read that correctly, you can absolutely enter the temple for free, a perfect activity if you are traveling Malaysia on a budget. If you want you are welcome to make a donation at the temple it self.
Dress code for the Thean Hou Temple: While there is no dress code for visiting the Thean Hou temple I would recommend anyone to dress as appropriately as possible (meaning to cover knees and shoulders in most cases). However, you are welcome to enter the temple in shorts, and contrary to other religious sites, you won’t be denied access or are alternative clothing options provided.
The Thean Hou Temple
Okay, so now that you are fully prepared and ready to go, here is what to expect when visiting the Thean Hou temple. While the Thean Hou temple does not look specifically appealing to the eye when first driving up, the 6 tier structure has much to more offer once you head to the temple, located on level 2. The temple was constructed between 1981 and 1987 and is a syncretism of element of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. The temple combines traditional architecture with more modern architecture, and is very rich in colour, a true mesmerising site when first entering the temple. You will find dragon inspired decoration on the rooftops and colourful lanterns, red and yellow, welcoming you into the temple.
The Thean Hou temple is home to three different goddesses, Tian Hou, the goddess of heaven that is said to protect fishermen, Guan Yin, the goddess of mercy, and Shui Wei Sheng Niang, the goddess of the waterfront. You can find a statue of each of the goddesses inside the prayer hall. Outside the temple you will also find a small section of a garden filled with the 12 zodiac signs and a small tortoise pond, located near the entrance.
Where to stay in kuala lumpur
For budget travelers – Use Hostelworld.com to find the perfect (budget) hostel for you. I have stayed multiple times in a dorm room in the Reggae Mansion, and could definitely recommend it to budget travelers who love to party. The hostel offers large and spacious pod-style dorms with large lockers for all your lockers. The hostel also has a restaurant, a small cinema and a rooftop bar, with a great view, that is opened daily.
For any type of traveler – Another great option for any traveler is to use AirBnB to find affordable but quality accommodation. There is a large offer available on AirBnB. We personally have stayed at this AirBnB, and for the same price as a private room in a mid range hotel we now had a pool and a gym to us available, an amazing view from the 24th floor in a top notch location with only a 5 min walk away from public transport, a large shopping district and food courts.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post about the Thean Hou temple. Let me know in the comments down below if you are planning on adding the Thean Hou Temple to your next bucket list! Don’t forget to read my full travel guide to Malaysia as well if you are planning on visiting this beautiful country or check out some of our other articles filled with tips and beautiful sights to see in Malaysia:
- Malaysia travel budget – This is exactly how much it costs to travel Malaysia
- 19 Things you need to know before traveling Malaysia
- Street art in Ipoh
- Visit the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur
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