The Snake Temple is located approximately 10 kilometres away from Lexis Suites Penang and is situated at Sungai Kluang, Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia. The Snake Temple is considered as one of its kind in the world. Some of the snakes that reside in this Snake Temple are poisonous Wagler’s Pit Vipers (also known as Temple Pit Vipers or Ular kapak tokong). For safety precautions, the snakes have been de-venomed but their fangs are still intact. Visitors who are visiting the Snake Temple are warned to not pick the reptiles and place them on their bodies to take pictures as this could be dangerous. This Snake Temple is also the only temple that prohibits the burning of joss sticks within the main prayer hall as according to the devotees, the vipers were repelled by the smoke from the temple. In fact, the smoke may harm and irritate the snakes, hence no burning of joss sticks is allowed in the prayer hall.
Originally called as the “Temple of the Azure Cloud” in honor of the beauty of Penang’s sky, The Snake Temple was built in 1850 by a Buddhist monk in memory of Chor Soo Kong who is also known as Qingshui, a Buddhist monk who was born in Fujian province during the Song Dynasty (960-1276 AD). Coming from the “Tan” clan, Chor Soo Kong entered monkhood from an early age and upon his ordination, he received the Buddhist name Pu-Zu.
In order to gain spiritual cultivation, Chor Soo Kong went to Gao-Tai Mountain and led an ascetic life there and under the guidance of Zen Master Ming-Song, he attained spiritual enlightenment. During the sixth year of the reign of Emperor Shen-Zhong of the Song Dynasty, Chor Soo Kong saved the town of Qing-Xi in Fujian from a terrible drought by praying for rain and the rain came. Due to this incident, the people honoured him by building a monastery for him on Peng-Lai Mountain. Back in 1850, The Penang Snake Temple was constructed in an area where its surrounding was a jungle and full of snakes. After the temple was erected, the snakes, particularly pit vipers started taking shelter in the Snake Temple. The monks who reside at the Snake Temple decided to provide shelter to the snakes instead of chasing them away.
The Penang Snake Temple is a tranquil spot despite having snakes slithering around here and there. In the Snake Temple, there are many statues and sculptures that provide great photo opportunities, especially the 600-pound bell in the main hall which was brought over from China in 1886. Sometimes visitors might notice that there are very few snakes in the temple as it is said that the snake’s population is declining due to the rapid development that is disturbing the snakes’ natural habitat. However, during festivals, visitors may see a larger number of snakes around due to the extra offerings available. When night falls, the snakes will slither about eating offerings so during the day, they’ll be too worn out to do anything other than just lying around in the Snake Temple. Prayers at the Snake Temple may start at as early as 5.00 am and devotees will pay homage to the deity by chanting the sutras.
Enticed by this mythical temple and its exotic inhabitants, book your stay at Lexis Suites Penang nearby, and you may frequent the Snake Temple at different times of the day for the full experience. And in between you get to enjoy all the best amenities and facilities provided by Lexis Suites Penang.
(Prices are subject to change)
Bayan Lepas Industrial Park, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia
+60 4-643 7273
Monday 6:00am - 7:00pm
Tuesday 6:00am - 7:00pm
Wednesday 6:00am - 7:00pm
Thursday 6:00am - 7:00pm
Friday 6:00am - 7:00pm
Saturday 6:00am - 7:00pm
Sunday 6:00am - 7:00pm