Temple Tuesday: the Penang bonanza

The past few days I have spent with an irritating head cold that has left me feeling boiling hot and less enthusiastic for getting out and about in the sun here on the island of Penang. I had thought I had escaped the illness my travel tour manager contracted whilst we were in Singapore but was ambushed while recovering from a "quick" trip to the pub to watch the football. Oh well, these things happen to even the very best of us.

This Temple Tuesday, in the pangs of sickness I visited a Chinese ancestral temple and marvelled briefly at the beautiful woodwork and paintings before my camera's battery chose that highly convenient moment to die and I left sweaty and scowling. 

However, earlier in the week I visited the Thai and Burmese Buddhist temples here. Both are the height of religious grandeur - the Thai temple features an enormous reclining Buddha as well as many ornate story paintings about the life of Gautama Buddha himself. Visiting temples and churches always instills a quiet feeling inside me but that was further magnified when walking through the rows of funeral urns behind the Buddha. It was quite sad to look at the young people's plaques especially. I guess it's the same in any cemetery or crematorium - perhaps I was feeling especially reflective that day.

Directly across the road the Burmese temple sprawls over a large property with beautifully maintained grounds. Inside the main building is a statue of Buddha as tall as the reclining one is long (but stupid me forgot to upload a picture of that!). There are some lovely statues about but one that did puzzle me was of a rather hideous little woman. If anyone can illuminate the significance of her that would be grand.

The Thai temple:


The Burmese temple:
Those tortoise-releasing scallywags have obviously been up to no bloody good again!

As a bonus for those of you of the Christian persuasion, here is the oldest Anglican church in South East Asia - St George's:

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