Wednesday, August 29, 2007

KL Day 4 - Thean Hou Temple

Spent most of the day helping the local engineers fix up the TA rulebase to allow MMS and walled-garden FOC charging. Also started going through the SGSN datafill for a new RNC to be integrated next week.

Left the office a little bit early at 5pm. The plan is to go to Thean Hou Temple just a few kilometers away from Le Meridien. The tourist pamphlets recommend taking the Putra train to Bangsar, then from there it's a short taxi ride to the taxi. Something must've gotten lost in the translation because the Bangsar taxi passed by my hotel, circled around it, then continued on to the temple. The cabbie even charged me a contract rate of RM15 because it's the peak after-office hours. After dropping me off, he asked if I want him to wait around or if he should come back to fetch me because the place is pretty isolated, and there's not many taxis around. It's true that the temple is situated on top of Robson Hill, and the only way to reach it is via small side road off Jalan Syed Putra (Federal Highway). Still, I told the cabbie I'll take my chances.

Spent about an hour exploring the temple. For one of the largest Chinese temples in Southeast Asia, it doesn't get much visitors. It's quite grand and majestic though. The temple has four levels. The first level houses the marriage registration office, a souvenir shop and a canteen. On the second level is the multi-purpose hall where cultural and religious activities are held. The admin office and resource centre are on the third level. The main temple shrine is on the fourth level. Upon entering the temple hall, the central altar is dedicated to the Thean Hou Goddess. To her right is Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. To her left is Shui Wei Shen Niang, the Goddess of the Waterfront.

After the tour, I realized I'm in a fix. The place is deserted, and I'm the only patron left. The long downhill walk to the main highway is pretty dangerous because the road is winding, there are no sidewalks, and cars would be whizzing by just a few feet from me. From the highway, it's another long walk to the overpass to allow me to cross the road. After like half an hour of trying, I managed to flag down a vacant cab. The ride back to the hotel? Only RM3.

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