Kuala Lumpur is one of my favorite cities in the world, together with Seoul and Hong Kong. I love its diversity and contrasts. The tall skyscrapers live in harmony with historical buildings, mosques, and temples. Truly a unique sight!
After visiting Kuala Lumpur three times, I finally got the chance to explore the incredible Thean Hou Temple. After seeing many photos with this temple on Instagram, I’ve decided to visit it without having high expectations.
I’ve seen my fair share of temples while traveling full time for one year and a half in Asia and I honestly thought that nothing can surprise me anymore. I was SO wrong! Let me tell you more about it in the sections below.
Quick jump list
1. The history of the temple
The temple was completed in 1987 and was built by the Hainanese people living in Malaysia. The temple is dedicated to Tian Hou, the goddess who protects the fishermen. A statue of the goddess is present in the prayer hall, situated between the Goddess of the Waterfront and the Goddess of Mercy.
No time to read now? Pin it for later!
Apart from its main hall and prayer hall, Thean Hou Temple also features a beautiful garden, a Chinese chessboard, and a Chinese herb garden.
Interesting fact: the temple also offers fortune-telling and marriage registration services.
-> Read my Kuala Lumpur one day itinerary!
2. About Thean Hou Temple
Before telling you more about this beautiful temple, there are some things that I need to share with you. Keep them in mind while visiting:
- Dress code – There is no dress code for visiting the Thean Hou Temple. However, I strongly suggest avoiding wearing short pants or skirts. When visiting temples, I carry a scarf with me and tie it around my waist as a skirt. It looks pretty good in the pictures too!
- Wearing shoes – You are allowed to wear shoes while visiting the temple. The only exception is the prayer hall where you’ll have to take your shoes off when entering.
- Visiting Thean Hou Temple during the night – there are hundreds, if not thousands of lanterns covering the temple. During the night, they all get lit, creating an incredible light spectacle.
As soon as you’ll arrive at the temple you’ll be amazed by its beauty. The temple has elements from Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. It’s an incredible combination of modern and traditional architectural techniques which makes it quite unique.
The first thing you’ll notice is the temple’s garden. Here you can find a few statues representing the Chinese zodiac. Search for your Chinese zodiac animal according to the year you were born and find out more about your personality. I was born in the monkey year. What about you?
In the garden, you’ll also find a few statues and the Thean Hou Temple’s map. If you want to explore everything that this temple has to offer, make sure to check out the map.
After you’ve finished exploring the garden, head to the temple’s first floor. Here you will be welcomed by the main hall and prayer room. The view from the entrance of the main hall is simply stunning. With hundreds of orange lanterns hanging over it, the Thean Hou Temple has a unique vibe.
Other AWESOME things to do in Kuala Lumpur:
Don’t hesitate to visit the prayer hall (you’ll have to take your shoes off when entering). Once you’re inside, take your time to admire the statues and then look up, towards the ceiling. You’ll discover some incredible colorful designs.
After visiting the first floor, head to the second floor of the temple. This is the place that I loved the most. With incredible views over the city, the second floor represents the perfect contrast between traditional and new.
The city’s skyscrapers can be seen in the distance, framed by this incredible temple. While you’re here, don’t forget to take a photo with one of the two round towers.
3. Opening hours and entrance fee
The good news is that there is no entrance fee to the Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur. The temple is open from 8 am until 10 pm.
Good to know: It’s one of the most visited tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur and many tourists come here by bus, as part of organized tours. If you want to have the temple to yourself and avoid the crowds, make sure to be there at 8 am. The best time to visit Thean Hou Temple is before 8.45 am when all the buses start arriving.
4. How to get to Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur
Getting around Kuala Lumpur is pretty easy and straight forward, no matter which transport option you choose. Getting to the main attractions such as Batu Caves, KL Tower or Thean Hou Temple shouldn’t be a struggle.
Find out below how to get to Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur.
If you are on a budget, using public transport in Kuala Lumpur is the best choice. It’s cheap, convenient and comfortable. To get to the temple, take the metro or monorail to KL Sentral. From there, you will have to walk for about half an hour to get to the temple. The last few hundred meters will be a bit steep but nothing to worry about.
While walking towards the temple, you will pass by the beautiful Little India. Be prepared for a splash of color and get ready to experience a bit of India’s vibe.
Grab App is my best friend when travelling to Asia. It is similar to Uber and the prices are really affordable, especially if you are a group of two or more people. A ride from the center of Kuala Lumpur to Thean Hou Temple should cost somewhere around 12 RM.
The only thing you need to use the Grab App is internet. I strongly recommend getting a local sim card from the airport. It will make your life much easier.
5. Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is a big city and finding the perfect accommodation can be challenging. I’ve searched for the best hotels for every budget. Here are my recommendations:
- Luxury – W Kuala Lumpur – pool towards the Petronas Towers, beautiful and spacious rooms, excellent staff & location
- Mid Budget – Kuala Lumpur Journal Hotel – excellent location, spacious & clean rooms, awesome pool
- Budget – Kitez Hotel – excellent location, modern design, friendly staff
I hope that I’ve convinced you to add Thean Hou Temple to your Kuala Lumpur itinerary. This temple is truly beautiful and its architecture will leave you breathless. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me in the comments section below.
May the travel bug bite you!