This week, I asked a group of experienced travel bloggers for their best temples of South East Asia. They came up with a fantastic selection from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and many more of our favourite temple seeking destinations. Now, don’t be surprised that Angkor Wat doesn’t feature here among our best temples of South East Asia – that’s because I received so many submissions on this that it deserved a whole blog of it’s own!
Best Temples of South East Asia
Phanom Rung Historical Park, Thailand
Found way off-the-beaten-track in Thailand’s Northeastern ‘Isaan’ region, Phanom Rung makes up part of a 225-kilometre long ‘Ancient Khmer Highway’ that leads through from the revered temples of Angkor in Cambodia.
If planning a visit, the city of Buriram, or Nang Rong maybe, would be the best base for travel. The temple itself, like most of these ancient Khmer ruins, is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, rather than local Buddhism, and each year the temple celebrates a rare phenomenon when the morning sunrise aligns with the fifteen doorways of the ancient temple’s upper sanctuary (around early April each year).
These celebrations include ancient markets, parades of traditional dress and culture, and a spectacular performance set beneath the backdrop of the temple ruins. Nearby, the lower temple of Prasat Muang Tam is a second sanctuary with “Ba Rai” manmade reservoirs which, in ancient times, were used to supply nearby villages with water.
About the Author: Allan Wilson
Prambanan in Indonesia
About the Author – Greta’s Travels
Goa Lawah, Bali
Do you want to see where Batman lives in Bali?” asked our guide and that was our introduction to the bat temple in Bali called Goa Lawah. This temple is located in Klunkung regency in Eastern Bali and has some fascinating stories associated with it. The natural cave is the home of thousands of bats and the opening of the cave has several small shrines which are worshiped by the Balinese Hindu devotees. The cave is believed to have three secret tunnels in three different directions but this has not been proved. Locals believe that one of the tunnels connect it to Besakih temple at the foothills of Mount Agung. Some even claim to have seen ashes in the cave when the volcano had erupted in Mount Agung.
About the Author – Pujarini Mitra
Pujarini Mitra is an entrepreneur with a serious travel addiction. She loves travelling and blogging about it. She is exploring the world, one country at a time with her family. MySoulTravels is her venture to share her travel stories and experiences on the road with her baby.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
About the Author – Clemens Sehi
Kek Lok Si temple in Georgetown, Malaysia
Kek Lok Si temple in Georgetown, Malaysia is one of the main city dominants; sitting on the top of Kek Lok Si hill it looks impressive. Kek Lok Si is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia and an important place for pilgrims from all over Southeast Asia. The temple was built in 1905. The complex is big with many levels, temples, yards, pagodas, ponds and statues, you can easily spend a whole day here. The main dominant is the 7-storey Pagoda of Rama VI also called Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas, there are literally 10 000 buddha sculptures in the pagoda. The highlights of the temple are the Tortoise Liberation Pond and the Hall of Devas, a giant bronze statue of the Goddess of Mercy. Kek Lok Si temple is especially impressive at night during the celebration of Chinese New Year, for 30 days the temple stays opened till late night. It’s decorated with thousands of lights and from far looks like a fairy tale temple.
About the Author – Alya Akhmetgareeva
Campbell and Alya are from Stingy Nomads – Permanent nomads ✈, hikers, divers, 🏄♀️ surfers. 📷World through our eyes, everything we see, like, experience…
My Son, Vietnam
About the Author – Michael Turtle
I tell the stories of the world as I constantly travel from country to country with no official home. I have discovered so many things that you won’t find in guidebooks or brochures and I want to share them all with you.