Kek Look Tong was one of the last places we ever visited in Ipoh and was also one of the most stunning. We had heard about this beautiful cave temple from a number of friends but had put of visiting it for some months.
|The entrance to the Temple|
Finally, a few weeks ago we decided to go and have a look for ourselves and we were not disappointed. The temple had originally been part of a mining operation with the natural cave mouth being widened to allow the ore transport trucks to drive straight in to the middle of the cave. Even during this time a part of the cave was used for worship and when the mining operations came to an end it was decided to develop the cave as a full scale temple. The cave was enlarged, the lower portions lined with marble and the land to the rear of the cave filled in to create a beautiful garden area.
|The Goddess looks over the carp pond|
|The Turtle and Tortoise Pond is relatively clean|
Arriving at the temple it is clear that this complex receives many more visitors than the other temples we have been to in Ipoh. There are extensive car parks all of which have been beautifully landscaped. Before coming to the entrance of the cave we took the time to look at the carp and turtle ponds which are situated to the front of the complex.
|Exquisite miniature scenes line the stairway climbing to the entrance|
|Each one is unique.|
The steps up to the main entrance of the cave are wide and shallow and decorated with many small sculptures, most of which are works of art in their own right. In the entrance to the cave more miniatures adorn the side walls.
|There are lots to choose from|
Walking further in you come to two side chapels where much of the original geology of the cave has been left untouched. Mr EE, a geographer by profession and who has more than a passing interest in geology rather enjoyed this section.
|The first section of the cave is vast|
Towards the rear of the cave we found a selection of more than 10 Taoist and Buddhist statues, some of them set on plinths that left them towering over the worshippers. Every single one of these bronze statues were brought over from Taiwan.
|The rear of the cave contains the largest sculptures|
|They are huge and each one was brought over from Taiwan|
|While initially underwhelming a closer inspection shows meticulous attention to detail.|
Going through to the other side we came to some steps leading down into the garden. This section of the temple grounds is nestled into the hills and set around a large lake surrounded by a peaceful jogging track. More statues line the track and, those who are gluttons for punishment can enjoy what is touted as the ‘longest reflexology path in Ipoh. While I enjoy going to the reflexologist (it is one of the perks of living in Malaysia) I have always found these paths a painful and deeply unpleasant experience rather similar to hobbling along the stones on Brighton beach. The garden is also home to some rather aggressive geese and some very friendly monkeys.
|The rear of the cave gives access to some beautiful gardens|
|The lake is serene (but bring the mosquito repellent) and a beautiful place to jog|
|The geese seemed to be the only people 'enjoying' the reflexology path|
It was as we left this temple that we received the call to confirm that we would be leaving Ipoh and moving to a new posting in a new country in 2016. We were so pleased we were able to see it before we left.
|Yet more miniatures can be found in the gardens|
While it is not my favourite of all the Ipoh temples (that honour goes to the Enchanted Heart) it is certainly an interesting an a beautiful place to visit and a place I would have returned to time and again had we stayed in Ipoh.
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