Thai temple Wat Prachumthat Chanaram in Tumpat, Kelantan and the Burmese Temple Dhammikarama in Penang.
Given Malaysia’s geographical and historical links with Thailand, it is not surprising that there are a good number of Thai temples as well as a couple of Burmese Buddhist temples in the country.
There are at least 70 Thai Buddhist temples in Malaysia: Kelantan 20, Kedah 38, Perak six, Penang four, Melaka one, Selangor one, Kuala Lumpur one.
Most of the Thai Buddhist temples are concentrated around the Tumpat and Pasir Mas districts of northern Kelantan (close to the Thai border), and in northern Kedah and Perak but there are a few others scattered around the country which are popular with Malaysian Chinese Buddhists as well as those of Thai ancestry and other nationalities.
As for Burmese temples, these are much fewer in number. There is the famous Dhammikarama temple in Penang and a little known temple in Semenyih, Selangor.
Here is a selection of Malaysian Thai temples and Burmese temples around the country.
Malaysian Thai temples
1.Wat Prachumthat Chanaram, Tumpat, Kelantan
This spacious temple compound is still partly under construction. The entrance to the main hall (Dewan Dhamma) is guarded by a pair of golden seven-headed naga statues.
2. Wat Machimmaram, Tumpat, Kelantan
Wat Machimmaram is famed for its 30-metre high sitting Buddha statue, said to have been south-east Asia’s largest when completed in 2001. It has since been eclipsed by the Great Buddha of Thailand that is three times higher.
3. Wat Phikulyai (Wat Pikunyai), Tumpat, Kelantan
At Wat Pikunyai. saffron-robed monks lead peaceful but austere lives in this sleepy corner of northern Kelantan.
4. Wat Uttamaram, Pasir Mas, Kelantan
This temple is famous, having been built over 90 years ago. It was home to a famous abbot named Tok Raja who passed away in 1992.
5. Wat Khosakaram, Pasir Mas, Kelantan
A 100-year-old temple in an isolated and peaceful spot surrounded by rice fields and palm trees.
6. Wat Phothivihan, Kelantan
This temple built in 1979 is home to Malaysia’s largest reclining Buddha statue with a length of 40 metres.
7. Wat Pracacinaram, Wakaf Bharu, Kelantan
Here you can enjoy herbal steam baths infused with ginger and other essences.
8. Wat Koh Wanararm, Langkawi, Kedah
The main attractions here is a large white marble Guan Yin statue carved out of a cliff face and an attractive landscaped garden.
9. Wat Tham Kisap, Langkawi, Kedah
A cave temple found at the foot of a limestone hill.
10. Wat Chaiyamangalaram, Penang
This famous temple is one of the island’s top tourist attractions and contains another large reclining Buddha statue.
11. Miaw Yuan Chan Lin Temple, Ipoh, Perak
In the Gunung Rapat area of southern Ipoh there are a number of cave temples including this Thai-style one.
12. Wat Sitawanaram, Kampung Koh, Sitiawan, Perak
This temple was established over 100 years ago by Thai Buddhist monks.
13. Wat Chetawan, Petaling Jaya
The late King Bhumipol of Thailand was one of the donors for this beautiful temple.
14. Wat Meh Liew, Kuala Lumpur
Wat Meh Lieu is a temple in what used to be called Kampung Siam. The Bodhi tree here is a seedling from the original tree under which Buddha once rested.
15. Wat Puthanimittam, Ipoh
Wat Puthanimittam is a Thai Buddhist Temple at Taman Kemuncak, a quiet residential area of Ipoh, at the foot of a karst limestone hill.
16. Wat Siribunyamagaram, Ipoh
Wat Siribunyamagaram, known colloquially as Tambun Siamese Temple, is a Thai Buddhist Temple on Jalan Tambun in Ipoh.
17. Wat Charok Padang, Sik, Kedah
Wat Charok Padang is a Thai Buddhist temple in northern Malaysia decorated with 100,000 green and brown glass bottles.
18. Glass Bottle Temple, Melaka
Glass Bottle Temple is a small Thai Buddhist temple in Melaka incorporating hundreds of recycled green glass beer bottles in its design.
Burmese Buddhist temples in Malaysia
1. Dhammikarama Burmese Temple, Penang
This temple was established in 1803 and contains beautiful Buddha statues and a Golden Pagoda Bell Tower among other features.
2. Burmese Temple near Semenyih, Selangor
This temple is described on Google Maps as a Burmese Temple. With a beautiful setting and an impressive reclining Buddha statue it is sure to become more popular.
This article first appeared in malaysia-traveller.com