Temples of Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

One of the most noticeable things in Malaysia and Cameron Highlands, in particular, is the melting together of many religions.   From the beautiful sounds of the call to prayer, to the colorful Hindu temples, to the ornate Buddhist temples, Malaysia has it all!

Hindu temple
While only 6% of the population in Asia are Hindu there still is a large presence in the areas we have visited so far. Maybe it is because the temples are so unique, colorful, and intriguing, but to me it seems that the percentage is far higher.  While we were in Cameron, I took the opportunity to visit one of these temples.  On immediate observation we saw that this temple was far less ornate than that of the Buddhists and although it was very clean we saw no other people in or around.  No one praying, no one cleaning...nothing!

Chinese Buddhist temple
20% of the population are practicing Buddhists.  They're mostly Chinese, and far different than our previous exposure with Buddhism in Thailand.  The temples are still quite beautiful but less ornate and certainly with a Chinese influence in the architecture and writing.

Islam is the official religion of Malaysia.  61% of the population practice Islam.  There is an obvious visual presence just about everywhere you go.  Just about every area has a mosque along with the beauty of the building there will also be the 5-6 times a day call to prayer blaring from the loudspeakers.  In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful sounds. Although I do not practice the religion, I like to look at it as a time to remind myself of the gratitude I feel.  There is also plenty of typical dress from burkas and hijabs to full traditional wear, mostly on women.

Also most any place that has a bathroom also has a prayer room so that when the call to prayer does sound, there is a private and peaceful place to pray.  It has been one of the more fascinating aspects to being in Malaysia!

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  1. Malaysia is certainly an amazing place if you wish to explore many of Asia's religions including Christianity. Penang is probably the epic centre of it all, a World Heritage Site due to the proximity and peaceful nature of the many religions represented there. We had an amazing time in Malaysia mostly due to that cultural and religious diversity.

  2. actually the 'buddhist' temple in the pictures are actually a typical chinese taoist temple rather than a pure buddhist one. yet it should be known that the chinese population in malaysia generally practises a hodgepodge of taoism, buddhism, and confucianism, that you will find buddhist statues in a taoist temple and so on.

    as for the muslim headwear, they call it as tudung here, which is hijab in english. a burqa is normally referred to the black cloak worn by the arab muslims. :)

  3. Thanks so much for the specifics. I also think many Chinese here do not practice any religion at all.

  4. oh yeah, many non-believers too, or just simply a cultural taoist/buddhist who will only visit temples or perform ceremonial rites during the big occasions. in fact, we often joke that the religion that they believe in is MONEY. haha!