PLACES of worship are interesting attractions, especially for tourists who wish to explore the cultures and traditions a city has to offer.
Kuala Lumpur has its fair share and they come to life especially during festive seasons or special occasions.
Situated on top of Robson Hill off Jalan Syed Putra, Thean Hou temple is known for its beautiful and elaborate ancient Chinese architecture.
It was completed in 1987 and was opened in September 1989
The six-tier temple is dedicated to the goddess Thean Hou (heavenly mother). There are also altars for Guan Yin, the goddess of mercy and Shui Wei Sheng Niang, the goddess of the waterfront.
With its colourful decorations, pagoda rooftops and dragon-inspired structures, it is also a hit with shutterbugs who also capture a panoramic view of the Kuala Lumpur skyline.
Visitors can take photographs of the 12 Chinese zodiac animal statues outside the temple.
Thean Hou temple is also known for its marriage registration services and organises mass wedding ceremonies during auspicious days.
There are several food stalls selling snacks and vegetarian food too including muah chee (glutinous rice snack).
For souvenir hunters, there are shops selling figurines, paintings and other small items.
Touring the temple takes about 40 minutes. The temple is just a 10-minute drive from Little India in Brickfields.
My first stop was the Buddhist Maha Vihara temple in Jalan Berhala. Founded by the Sinhalese community in 1894, the temple follows the Sri Lankan Theravada tradition.
Highlights of the place are a bodhi tree inside the temple, a shrine hall as well as Buddha statues.
During Wesak Day, vibrantly decorated floats will take to the streets for the annual float procession.
There is much to see in the area and travelling by foot is the best option as traffic here can be congested and parking space is limited.
Other places of worship in Brickfields include the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad, Madrasathul Gouthiyah surau as well as Sam Kow Tong Chinese Temple.
Brickfields also has a wide range of food options from restaurants and cafes to roadside hawkers and night markets.
Banana leaf rice is synonymous with Brickfields, but I opted for mutton nasi briyani in Husein Cafe, Jalan Thambipillay.
You can also go for a hot bowl of Peter’s pork noodles at Mayflower Food Court in Jalan Vivekananda. The place can get busy during lunchtime on weekdays.
Despite KL Sentral and the many condominiums, visitors can still experience the laidback charm of Brickfields — thanks to the old houses and shophouses along Jalan Thambipillay and Jalan Berhala.
The Nu Sentral Shopping mall in Jalan Tun Sambanthan is the latest shopping attraction in Brickfields.