• Sri Kandaswamy Kovil was built in 1902 to service the Ceylon Tamil Hindu Community and allow them to practice Saiva Siddhantha in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    Sri Kandaswamy Kovil

    During the 1800s large groups of Tamil Hindus moved from Sri Lanka to Malaysia to help construct railway lines. Many ended up settled in the area that is now known as Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur because it was so close to where the lines were being built. Life was much improved from what it had been in Sri Lanka, but many of them missed having a formal temple to worship in. Up until 1890 they had been worshiping informally in homes and at small, makeshift shrines. On December 24, 1890, though, the leaders of the Saivite Ceylon Hindu Community decided they wanted something more permanent and the plan for Sri Kandaswamy Kovil was…

  • Al-Hana Mosque is also known as Masjid Al Hana. It was built in 1959 in Kuah Town on Langkawi Island, Malaysia. The structure combines Islamic motifs from Uzbekistan with Malay-style architecture and follows conventional mosque design.

    Al-Hana Mosque

    When we went to Langkawi for New Year’s, the only thing we planned out was a day of snorkeling and then watching the fireworks on the beach. Other than that we had no set plans. This was probably our most relaxed trip and we ended up having a good time just wandering around Kuah, the town we stayed in, and checking out other parts of the island. The first thing we did after our day of snorkeling and swimming was to visit Al-Hana Mosque. We’d only been living in Malaysia for about two months and hadn’t visited any yet, so when we saw a mosque just down the street from the…

  • Temple of Heaven: The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

    If you ever go to Beijing, one of the places you’ll want to visit is the Temple of Heaven. It’s a 15-minute drive south of the Forbidden City and close to several other areas of interest. We did a circuit where we visited the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and then the Temple of Heaven in one day and felt like we were able to enjoy ourselves at each one without feeling rushed. The Temple of Heaven began construction in 1406 and was completed in 1420, just 4 years before the Yongle Emperor died. The complex is made up of two sections, the inner section and the outer section, covering 660 acres. The outer…

  • Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple Brickfields is a Buddhist site located in the Brickfields section of Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 1895 by the Sinhalese community to provide a place of worship in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. It is also known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple.

    Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple

    When we lived in Kuala Lumpur, I really enjoyed walking around the neighborhood and taking in the sites. We lived by Little India, which was filled with all sorts of Hindu shops and temples, and also by a little Buddhist section of town, so there were always really interesting things to see. One day I decided to just wander and see where my feet took me and I ended up at this cute little Buddhist temple from 1895 that I’d never known was there before. The main gate is known as the Sanchi Main Gate, after the village of Sanchi in India, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.…

  • The Standing Buddha and Wat Indharavihan

    Hidden in the heart of Bangkok is a small 200-year-old Buddhist temple built in honor of one of Thailand's most revered Buddhist monks. Complete with a small temple and a 100ft standing Buddha, this temple is worth stopping to see.