Have you ever thought about choosing Kuala Lumpur as a city break destination? Or more realistically, a stopover stay on your Southeast Asia travels? The bustling capital of Malaysia is a multicultural city whose popular and iconic attractions have come to define it as a tourist destination. From the incredible Petronas Twin Towers to the Batu caves, and of course, Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur has a lot to offer travellers. I’ve put this guide to Thean Hou Temple together to inspire you to explore this fascinating attraction.
Before visiting Kuala Lumpur, I didn’t know much about this intriguing city. What I did know was based on those stunning photos that I had come across, thanks to Instagram. A few photos that continuously appeared on my feed were from Thean Hou Temple. It looked so beautiful and I knew we couldn’t leave Kuala Lumpur without checking it out for ourselves.
I’m pleased to say that Thean Hou did not disappoint. Sometimes visiting a place after seeing the beautifully edited photos on Instagram can be a bit of a let down. You know, you get there and it looks nothing like the photos. Well, Thean Hou Temple is not one of those places. Without getting too carried away – it blew my mind. It was a lot bigger than I expected it to be, and the detail is immaculate.
Since you may have some questions about visiting this attraction, I’ve put together this guide to Thean Hou Temple.
Ultimate guide to Thean Hou Temple
Truth be told, we got some stunning photos at Thean Hou and I needed an excuse to share them. But this guide to Thean Hou Temple will also cover all the question that you could have, like opening hours, dress code, and if there’s an entrance fee.
About Thean Hou Temple
Kuala Lumpur is a melting pot of cultures, with a large number of religious sites to explore. From Buddhist temples and mosques to Hindu temples, there’s so many to visit. But, even if religious sites aren’t really your thing, there’s one temple that you should add to your bucket list, and that’s Thean Hou.
This is one of the largest and oldest Chinese temples in Southeast Asia. It’s a six-tiered Buddhist temple that was constructed between 1981 and 1987. The structural design represents a successful combination of contemporary architectural style and traditional designs with complex finishings and ornate carvings. The detail is incredible.
The temple itself was a lot bigger (and more extraordinary) than I had imagined. It appears huge from the outside, but once inside it feels surprisingly small. It took us less than an hour to explore – and we took our time. The main area is on the second floor. Below are a few shops and a food court. It also features some stunning gardens that you can take a walk around in.
The opening hours of the temple are from 09:00 am to 18:00 every day. I wanted to arrive just before 9:00 am because I thought it would get busy early on, like the Batu caves. But we only arrived after 09:30 and it was still really quiet. We left at about 11:00 and it was definitely getting busier, but was still peaceful and not crowded. This was on a Thursday morning. So I guess if you’re visiting during the week, there’s no need to rush.
However, keep in mind that tour buses often come here. I read online that they usually arrive at around 09:30. So if you want to avoid the crowds, you might want to play it safe and visit as early as possible.
There is no dress code for Thean Hou Temple. In fact, there’s not even an entrance really. You can just walk straight up to the temple. While there isn’t a dress code policy in place, I would recommend that you dress as appropriately as possible. At most other temples this means that your shoulders and knees should be covered – so no short skirts, dresses, or shorts.
But, you are welcome to wear whatever you like here, and won’t be denied access if not dressed “appropriately.”
Entrance is free
Yes, you pay absolutely nothing to visit this stunning attraction. There are a few souvenir stores on the premises – so you could always purchase something there as a “contribution.” The temple is open to receiving cash donations.
Getting to Thean Hou Temple
Unlike most of the other major attractions in Kuala Lumpur, you cannot get to Thean Hou Temple using the train. You can only get there by driving yourself or using a taxi service. GRAB is great. We used this service (which is basically like Uber) throughout our stay in Kuala Lumpur.
Thean Hou Temple is a popular place to get married. There’s a marriage registration office on the premises. If you see photos of the temple in the evening, filled with hundreds of Chinese lanterns illuminating the darkness, it’s easy to see why some couples choose to get married here.
Other attractions in Kuala Lumpur
As part of this guide to Thean Hou Temple, I’ve decided to include a few other main attractions in the city. Thean Hou is a great place to spend an hour or two, but you will have plenty of time to explore other parts of the city as well.
- Batu Caves: This is arguably Malaysia’s most iconic attraction. Entrance to the main cave is free, but you will have to climb 272 steps to reach the top. The good news is that it’s well worth it.
- KL Forest eco park: One of the best things about Kuala Lumpur for me, is that there’s a forest in the middle of the city. It’s fascinating. You can even do a canopy tour through the forest – which is also free.
- Check out the Petronas towers: These iconic twin towers are essentially the backdrop of Kuala Lumpur. The views are incredible, and you can snap some great photos from KLCC Park.
Be sure to check out my full list of things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 2 days.
Why visit Thean Hou Temple?
The temple is a fusion of traditional architecture and modern building techniques. It’s absolutely fascinating and beautiful. Personally, visiting temples is not really “my thing,” but Thean Hou is one of those that’s definitely worth a visit.
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