Penang Snake Temple
The Penang Snake Temple is located at approximately 12 km from Georgetown and only about 3 km from the airport in Bayan Lepas. This unique temple was built in honour of Chor Soo Kong, a Buddhist healer and priest. It was believed that the monk provides shelter to snakes and when the temple was completed after he had passed away, the snakes moved in on their own. It was also believed that the snakes were the disciples of the priest. It is the home to various types of snakes, including the venomous Wagler’s pit vipers and the common green tree snakes.
The Penang Snake Temple is also known as the Pure Cloud Temple or Temple of the Azure Cloud. It was established in 1850 and was funded by the donation from a Scotsman, David Brown. It was believed that David was healed from an untreatable illness using local medicines.
There is a large incense burner at the entrance of the temple, which fills the temple’s main prayer hall with smoke. The incense acts as a tranquilizer, making the snakes appear to be motionless. There is also a 600 pounds bell in the primary hall. It was brought from China to the temple in 1886. The bell is rung on the 15th day of each month in the Chinese calendar. It is a signal for the start of prayers.
Just behind the temple, there is a ‘snake pool’ that is filled with many fruit trees. If you look closely, there will be snakes coiled around the tree branches. Next door to the temple is a small snake farm. The small snake farm contains approximately 50 species of snakes, including cobras and pythons.
Image by Charles Haynes.
Daily: 6:00 am – 7:00 pm.
Adults: RM 5.
Kids: RM 3.
Hear From Others
This temple was made in memory of a Buddhist Monk named Chor Soo Kong in 1850 who was believed to have taken after snakes. The story goes that after it was completed all of these snakes just appeared on their own and there has been a population of snakes living at the temple ever since.
The temple is filled with the smoke of burning incense and a variety of pit vipers. The vipers are believed to be rendered harmless by the sacred smoke, but as a safety precaution, the snakes have also been de-venomed but still have their fangs intact.
The Snake Temple 蛇庙, aka Temple of Azure Cloud (not exactly, with that grey overcast sky) was originally built in 1850 and is one of the oldest temples in the world. Some say that, perhaps, it’s the only temple of its kind in the world… er…is it because of the many snakes residing within the temple??
Jerejak Island is a small island located at the eastern coast of Penang Island. It can be reached via a ferry ride from Bayan Lepas. It is known to have a dark history in the past. Now Jerejak Island is one of the famous islands in Penang to be visited for its rich nature and beautiful view.
The Penang Time Tunnel is no doubt one of Penang’s top tourist destinations which provide a thorough historical chronology of the Island. One of its attractions is a 2D and 3D mural gallery.