The Tow Moo Keong temple in Kuantan stands high on a hill. However, from the roadside, it is not easily visible and on a number of previous occasions, I had cycled straight past it. So when I noticed the words 'Tow Moo Keong' by the roadside I immediately did a U-turn across the road and cycled slowly up the incline.
Half way up I noticed one of my student's father at a mini-garage. He said hi and motioned me up towards the temple. A Western couple had just finished their visit and were climbing back into their taxi accompanied by a Chinese driver. A few children ran wildly down the steps, racing each other to the bottom. I parked my bicycle in a quiet little area on the far side behind a single car. I doubted anyone would steal my bike at a sacred place, so I didn't lock it.
There are many temples in Kuantan, and the Tow Moo Keong temple looks small from the outside but opens into a rather spacious hall with another smaller room fixed behind. I asked a woman there if she spoke English. She responded with a shake of the head and a smile. I motioned my hands as if holding a camera. She nodded in the affirmative. And so I whipped out my Panasonic Lumix DMC-F2.
The image of worship...
The altar where offerings are submitted and prayers are burned, releasing incense.
The view of Kuantan from the Tow Moo Keong temple
The steps leading to the Tow Moo Keong temple
My bicycle was still there after I was satisfied with my visit. I whizzed down the hill, the gushing breeze filling me with life.