Sunday, February 08, 2009

Buddhist Temples in Tumpat

Tumpat is a small town in Kelantan, not far from the Malaysia-Thai border. There are some ethnic Thais living in this area, and a number of Buddhist temples have been built.

I came across this standing Buddha in a temple near Tumpat town. I think the temple is named Wat Pikulthong. Please correct me if I were wrong…

Wat Machimmaram has one of the largest sitting Buddha in South-east Asia. Despite its name, the architecture is more Chinese than Thai…

Wat Photivihan houses the largest reclining Buddha in Malaysia

If you plan to visit the temples in Tumpat, do spare your stomach. Within the compounds of the temples, there are food stalls serving Thai food.

Many, many years ago, there was a plan to construct a Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) statue in the Kek Lok See Temple in Penang. Penang's Islamic institutions made noise, complaining that the statue would be taller than local mosques. More recently, a number of Hindu temples have been demolished in Selangor. Strangely, even though Kelantan is the most Islamist state of the nation, we find so many grand Buddhist temples here.

Now back to the standing Buddha in the first photo shown above. The hand gesture of the Buddha symbolizes abhaya, or “fearless”. If you think Kelantan is a scary place, I hope my posts have dispelled the fear in you

Related posts:
Kelantan 2009
Pantai Cahaya Bulan


  1. Didn't I say a PAS ruled state is actually better? Haha!

  2. foongpc
    Sadly, my home-state, Perak, is now back to BN :(

  3. O.o I'm surprised! Of all the places it was Kelantan...

    And it's very sad to note the recent happenings around your (and my) hometown. =/

  4. Well, the Kuan Yin statue finally get to be erected anyway. But it's not yet completed despite yrs have gone by.

    I'm gonna visit this town on my next trip to Kelantan. It's definitely one of the hidden gems of the state.

  5. Oh there's a mistake. What I mean is the shelter housing the huge statue.

  6. Are the ones in the picture your parents?

  7. i remembered last time after visiting all this statues of then very young cousin bro asked us,
    there's so many buddha like standing buddha, sitting buddha, and sleeping there any dancing buddha ar?
    we guffawed like nobody's business :D

  8. Of your list of temples, I have only been to the Kek Lok See Temple in Penang, many years ago.

    Very grand, very clean, very magnificient.

    Hope to go Kelantan someday too. Do I hear that in Islamic states, guys and gals have to queue in different counters to pay?

  9. day-dreamer
    Haha... I know many people would be surprised.

    Yes, the Kuan Yin statue is erected, after so many years.

    Yes, they are my parents.

    Never heard of dancing Buddha, and the 'sleeping Buddha' is actually not sleeping. Reclining Buddha is the better term.

    Oh yes, men and women have to be in different queues.

  10. sigh, look who is always saying Chinese is racism type...

    even our temples are not left alone by them...crazy...

    *hey, if that is your parent, I think you look very like your mum*

  11. safeheaven was me =D
    dunno why blogger detected my deleted blog =(

  12. Looks like u went to quite a few places in Kelantan. Beautiful pics.

  13. Lisa
    Having been to the US, I would said that Chinese are indeed racist. We like to brag about our 5,000 year culture. We bill ourselves as 'Descendants of Dragon' with 'black hair, black eyes and yellow skin'. Heck, don't we know that US President is a black?

    Not really, I only had 3 days in Kelantan, and I had to take care of my parents. Actually, I planned to visit fishing village but couldn't make it.

  14. now i think kelantan looks like a pretty ok place to visit. not that ulu after all.

  15. xin
    Actually, Kelantan is slightly ulu, but that's exactly why I went there.

    Living in a big city, I want to enjoy small town charm during my holidays :)

  16. Wow! Looks incredible! And yeah, you mentioned sumptious Thai food huh! =)

  17. Tekkaus
    Thai food there was cheap ;-)

  18. 信奉"睡觉"的人都拜睡佛的.....

  19. 迷迭香
    I also 信奉"睡觉", haha...

  20. Beautiful! It does look very Chinese.

  21. Zhu
    The first and third temples mentioned actually have Thai style architecture.