A Travellerspoint blog

Snake Temple


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<yawn> Hey Friends, it’s me PG……sorry I’m so tired this morning. We went out partying at the Blue Moon Lounge. It was great! The drinks we tried were Fiesta Blossom, Penang Legenda, and I guess Golden Dream.

Today we are going to have an adventure day in the Snake Temple in Penang. The Temple is only place of its kind in the world. The Snake Temple is roughly 10km south of Georgetown. It takes about 25 to 30 minutes by taxi.

This temple is a good example of the culture background of the Chinese population. It dates back to the 1850’s when the temple was built. The temple honours a resident named Chor Soo Kong, who had healing powers. He was a Buddhist monk, who moved to Penang. The statue of the deified healer was brought to Penang by a monk from China. The legend is that this pious monk gave shelter to the snakes of the jungle; when the temple was completed, the snakes moved in.


There is no entering fee but if you want you have to pay 30RM if you want to put the snake around your neck for a picture. Andri and I took a picture of a snake around our neck. G was too scared!

In front of the Snake Temple is a big incense burner, where they burn large incense. Inside the temple, in the Main Prayer Hall, is filled with smoke which supposedly paralyzes the snakes. In a bowl are eggs. That's the food for the snakes, when they are hungry. When we visited the snakes, we saw the snakes on the tree tops in the temple. We were amazed to find snakes just quietly lying around and not bothered with people walking around. Although poisonous, these snakes are not known to bite. Devotees refer to them as `officers' of the deity and regard them as `holy and harmless’. They told us that no one was ever bitten by a snake.


In the main area, there is a statue of Chor Soo Kong. The statue of the deified healer was brought to Penang by a monk from China. Legend tells us that Kong has a black face because he met some demon and cooked him. This meaning of the black face became the symbol of compassion and the sacrifice for other people.

At the back of the temple is a snake pool. Not filled with water, but with fruit trees. At the first sight I see no snakes over here. But if you have a close look than you will see snakes coiled on the branches of the tree.
It was amazing to be around the animal we fear the most.

We later left the temple to try some street food. We tried satay. It is a spicy kebab barbequed over a charcoal fire and served with sweet peanut sauce. It usually comes with a generous helping of fresh cucumber, onion chunks and ketupat (square rice dumpling wrapped in a woven leaf casing). Satay is arguably the most famous Malay delicacy in Malaysia. It was very good snack.


Other such street food we tried were Roti Canai, Nasi Kandar, and the delicious Ais Kacang-- a bowl of ice shavings generously covered in evaporated milk, red beans, sweetcorn, glass jelly and syrup.


Posted by gpa2010 16:00 Archived in Malaysia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (2)

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