Chan See Shu Yuen Temple in Kuala Lumpur

Chinatown Attractions

Chan See Shu Yuen Temple is one of the largest and oldest surviving Buddhist temples in Malaysia. Located at the southern end of Jalan Petaling, it is characterized by a typical open courtyard and symmetrical pavilions, and decorated with colourful paintings, woodcarvings and ceramic fixtures.

Built between 1897 and 1906, it is quite an elaborate temple: from outside you can see the intricately carved kwang-tung roof, gables and specially-crafted terracotta friezes with monumental Chinese history and mythological scenes. The interior of the main temple has pillars with scenes of gold-painted warriors battling lions, dragons and other mythical creatures.

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Design of Chan See Shu Yuen Temple

Behind a glass wall in the main temple are statues of the Chan See Shu Yuen Temple’s three main deities, including Chong Wah, an emperor of the Sung Dynasty; above them is a mural of a brilliant yellow sun.

Meanwhile, decorating the edges of Chan See Shu Yuen Temple are blue ceramic vases and small statues of peasants (guardians of the temple) armed with poles crowned with lanterns; on either side of the entrance gate are shrines to the male and female guardians.

Chan See Shu Yuen Temple serves a dual function as both a shrine and a community centre. Originally built as a kongsi (clan house) for families with the surnames Chan, Chen or Tan, the clan founders are depicted at the central altar of the temple. Besides the temple’s beautiful architecture you can also see black-and-white pictures (some are hand drawn) of deceased clan members above the altars on the right and left of the main temple during your visit to the temple.

Chan See Shu Yuen Temple is easily accessible via the Pasar Seni LRT: it is only a 15-minute walk from the station.

Chan See Shu Yuen Temple

  • Opening Hours: 08:00 – 18:00
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