Chinese temple with views of Sandakan
Published/Last edited or updated: 13th November, 2016
The extravagant Chinese Buddhist temple perches four kilometres west of the centre of Sandakan. Not as ancient and incense soaked as some of the older temples in town, Puu Jih Shih is bright and shiny, relatively newly built in 1987. Rows of white Buddha statues flank the driveway as you enter. Leave your shoes on shelves provided at the entrance overlooking the sea. The interior is a gaudy mix of red, gold and blue and features writhing dragon-entwined pillars, illuminated statues and gilt Buddhas in all his forms. Tiled floors, polished until they gleam, reflect all and the more recently painted ceiling. Towers of small gold Buddhas are labelled with the Chinese names of contributors who have donated to the temple: three characters for an individual, and five for a family name.
Looking down from the temple to the terraced gardens below, a topiary hedge forms a large swastika. Late afternoon, you may be lucky to witness the nuns (or perhaps monks), chanting, twinkling bells and beating the large drum, an atmospheric backdrop as the sun sets. Give yourself at least half an hour to snap some pictures and admire the vista. The temple has clean toilets.
To get to Puu Jih Shih Temple, catch a bus along Jalan Leila to Tanah Merah, you will have to walk 1.5 kilometres uphill to the temple, alternatively a taxi from town is 25 ringgit.
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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