Malaysia is one of the best countries in the world that I have ever visited and I will encourage anyone to visit the moment you land at the airport there is this welcoming atmosphere that makes you want to travel and explore more about its beauty and culture. Most people are attracted to this country not for its beautiful landscape, wildlife or beaches but also due to different religious practices. Being a country with a mixture of religions it is definitely right to say that religious tourism in Malaysia is one of factors that make tourists to flock into this beautiful country.
After visiting Malaysia I was hugely attracted to the religious sites and places that i felt i will not have done justice to this great country if i didn’t write something about it, that will also make you want to visit. Being a country with a great mixture of religious practices which borrows largely from countries like China, India and other Asian countries one cannot deny the fact that there is something fascinating about this country. There is a great history of Buddhism, Islam, Christianity embedded in a great form of architecture and landscape.
Religious sites you will not want to miss Batu caves. While in Kuala Lumpur I could not resist but visit the Batu caves just 13 kilometers from the capital. These caves attract thousands of tourists every year, they now serve as Hindu temples and were dedicated to the god of war and victory Murugan. He’s huge golden statue is erected just outside the caves. Inside the caves we have a number of shrines whereby pilgrims converge every year to give thanks and offerings to their god of war Murugan while inside the caves one could not help but notice a different variety of vegetation as well monkeys which just make the visit to this site even more interesting.
The Jamek mosque in Kuala Lumpur
It is one of the oldest mosques in the country situated in the capital. It was built in the early 1900s and was commissioned by Britain who were then the colonial masters. It was built on an initially cemetery piece of land. The beautiful coconut trees bring about the sweet feeling of nature that make you to want and stay longer and take pictures. It is easily accessible by both visitors and local by either train or foot.
The goddess of mercy
The temple was dedicated to a goddess called Guan Yin in George town in 1824. This is after a lot of Chinese nationals migrated to the region. The temple proceeded to bring peace between rival communities, the Cantonese and the Hokkien by acting as a mediator. It is a beautiful town consisting of diverse communities and culture. The hospitality and kindness I experienced while on this visit is what makes you want to visit again. The other thing I cannot forget to mention about George town, while on my visit to the temple is the delicious food i ate, my favorite place being Penang. Penang is very popular due to the fact that it offers different types of cuisine. While here I had to choose which kind of cuisine I should try because we had Chinese, Indian, Thai, Malaysian as well as Western. Nevertheless since I was in Malaysia the only food i had to eat was Malaysian.
Thean Hou temple
The temple is found in Kuala Lumpur and located on top of Robinson hill. It is a Buddhist Chinese temple and considered as on of the largest in the southeast Asia. The temple was built to worship not one but three goddess. Namely Tian Hou which means heavenly mother, goddess Guan Yin meaning the goddess of mercy which we have already seen above and also Shu Wei Sheng Niang meaning the goddess of waterfront. The temple is seen as a very import tool of nationalism since it represents Chinese nationals who migrated to the country and are now integrated with the local Malaysian people It is also seen as a representation of the great Chinese architecture as it stands there shining its beauty to the people of Malaysia And as a visitor it will be best if you spare some time on your schedule and just visit this beautiful temple that was actually built to last. While in the temple you will notice that the temple was exceptionally designed to include prayer hall and altars for the Chinese goddesses. We also have statues built for the three goddesses named above. There is a tortoise pond which I failed to ask what it is for but I believe there is a good reason behind it. Also you cannot fail to notice that the temple when built was made to accommodate a garden where Chinese medicinal herbs are grown. I would say that Thean Hou, is not only a religious temple but also a national treasure that attract a lot of tourists both locally and internationally.
Harmony street in Malacca
Somehow through all the odds, Malaysia being a multi-religious country has managed to maintain peaceful co-existence amongest its population. This is one of the factors that has made religious tourism to flourish in Malaysia. The country has managed to keep peace between Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Hindus among others. The harmony street was named so because different religious groups have been housed and worship on the same street in harmony. Otherwise the official name of the street is Jalan Tukang Em as. On this street of Harmony the Muslim, Hindus and the Buddhists both have their mosques and temples and everybody worships in his or her on way without interference from the other.
Other than religious tourism, Malaysia has a rich wildlife that will make you fall in love with it once you visit their national parks. Try and make time and visit their national parks and zoos and see the beautiful wildlife you have never seen anywhere else on the planet. The green rain forests create a lovely scenery while watching the sunset or just by taking a nature walk to kill that boredom that had engulfed you while in your hotel room.
In conclusion I think it’s worthy mentioning that Malaysia is a country that boasts of great cuisines, beautiful landscape, beautiful wild life, diverse culture and different religion practices. This aspects not only attracts tourism to the country but also markets it even more. It’s obvious that religious tourism in Malaysia has been furthered even more due to this attributes. In fact while on my visit to Peneng George town I couldnt help but notice how intense and passionate the Malaysian people are when it comes to their cuisine. Being an ancient stop over for spices trade locals here are in love with their cuisine and often work hard and travel a wide to develop new cuisines. Good food is a competition here and you just can’t, but keep wondering how devoted and passionate this people are about their culture, food and their country.