Kuala Lumpur's most popular Chinese temples are set within the popular Chinatown KL district, where you can experience the daily life of the city’s Chinese community. Dedicated to Buddhist and Taoist deities, these well-preserved holy places have been serving the local community for hundreds of years and feature intricate architectural styles, towering statues of various deities, hand-painted murals, and open-air pavilions.
The best time to visit these temples are during annual festivities such as Chinese New Year and Wesak Day, where hundreds of devotees come from all over the country to pay their respects and getting their fortunes told by resident monks. Whether you’re looking to create memorable photo opportunities or simply enjoy the peaceful surroundings, read on for our list of must-visit Chinese temples in KL.
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Thean Hou Temple is a stunning six-tiered Buddhist temple which commemorates Tian Hou, a goddess said to protect fishermen as well as Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. Situated along Jalan Klang Lama Road, it is one of the oldest and largest Chinese temples in Southeast Asia as it was constructed in 1894. Offering ample photo opportunities, the temple is fitted with contemporary architectural styles and traditional designs with intricate embellishments, ornate carvings, and hand-painted murals. Also known as Temple of the Goddess of Heaven, it houses a Chinese medicinal herb garden, tortoise pond, well, and a sacred Bodhi tree. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily: 09:00 - 18:00
- Address: 65 Persiaran Endah, Off Jalan Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2274 7088
Chan See Shu Yuen Temple, originally a kongsi (clan house) for the Chan, Chen and Tan families, serves as a Buddhist shrine and community centre in Chinatown Kuala Lumpur. Built between 1897 and 1906, this intricate temple is easily distinguished by its open courtyard, carved roof, gables, and terracotta friezes. Chan See Shu Yuen Temple’s interior is fitted with bold red pillars with scenes of gold-painted warriors battling lions and dragons while statues of its three main deities, including Chong Wah, an emperor of the Sung Dynasty are displayed behind a glass wall. Easily accessible via LRT train, Chan See Shu Yuen Temple is a 15-minute walk from the Pasar Seni stop. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 18:00
- Address: Southern end of Jalan Petaling, Chinatown Kuala Lumpur
Kuan Ti Temple, built in 1888, is a Taoist shrine that’s dedicated to Guan Di, the Taoist God of War and Literature. Easily recognisable due to its bright orange façade, you can find colourful dragons coiled around the two main pillars in the temple while the massive wooden and gold-painted statue of Guan Di is flanked by carved imagery of his godson Guan Ping and bearer Zhou Cang. The temple is also home to replicas of Guan Di’s weapons, including a famous copper sword (guan dao) and spear (guan jie) which Taoist devotees believe that that they will be blessed if they touch or lift the former, which is not as easy as it sounds because it weighs an imposing 59kg. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 19:00
- Address: Along Jalan Tun H. S. Lee, Chinatown Kuala Lumpur
Sin Sze Si Ya Temple is a prominent cultural centre for the city’s Chinese community, especially during festivals such as Chinese New Year. Well-regarded as the oldest Taoist temple in Chinatown Kuala Lumpur, it was built in 1864 by Yap Ah Loy and dedicated to patron deities Sin Sze Ya and Si Sze Ya. Comprising a main prayer hall and two smaller side halls, the temple grounds feature open-air pavilions where devotees light incense and joss sticks. During the day, you may find devotees crawling under a table right in front of statues of Sin Sze Ye and Sze Ye. This unique practise is believed to help lessen mortal burdens. Devotees also claim that circling the temple’s main altar three times will bring good fortune. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 20:00
- Address: 113A Jalan Tun H. S. Lee, 14A Leboh Pudu, Kuala Lumpur
Kuan Yin Temple is a venerable and refined Buddhist shrine in Kuala Lumpur, honouring the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin. Within the temple grounds are stalls selling traditional prayer items like joss sticks and candles, resulting in a festival-like setting while prayer times (between 12:30 and 14:00), you can hear melodic chanting of ‘Namo Guanshiyin Bodhisattva’ from devotees and monks alike. Fitted with simple Chinese and European baroque architectural styles, Kuan Yin Temple is also home to three golden Chinese Buddhist statues in the main prayer hall, namely Shakyamuni (Gautama Buddha), South Sea Guanyin, and Qianshou (Thousand Arm Goddess of Mercy). Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 17:00
- Address: Jalan Stadium and Jalan Maharajalela, Chinatown Kuala Lumpur