Chin Swee Temple is a peaceful and spiritual pitstop before heading onward to the mayhem of Genting Resort World. Perched on the scenic hills of Genting Highlands, it stands among the clouds at 4,600 feet above sea level. Not only is the temple blessed with beautiful scenery, but it has a practical purpose. Before gambling at the Genting casinos, visitors can stop at Chin Swee Temple and pray to the god of prosperity!
Admission Price & Opening Hours
Chin Swee Temple has free admission, and opening hours are from 8 am to 7 pm. The Chin Swee gondola stop has the same hours.
How to Get to Chin Swee Temple
You can drive to Chin Swee Temple if you don’t mind the swerving curved roads. The parking lot is conveniently located just under the sky terrace next to the pagoda.
Most people will use the Awana Skyway, the gondola from Awana Station to Genting Highlands. All Skyway tickets include a free stop at Chin Swee Station, which is halfway to the top.
After disembarking the gondola, there are a million escalators to get down to the temple. Mark was able to compose an entire multi-photo Instagram post in the time we spent standing on escalators. There is a door on the right about halfway down that leads to a small outdoor observation deck.
What to See at Chin Swee Temple
Although there are 14 levels at Chin Swee Temple, the majority of them are accommodations with nothing interesting. Floors 13 and 7 are the main ones worth going to. After going down all the escalators from the station, you’ll end up on 13.
Sky Terrace – Level 13
As you were descending all those escalators, you might have spotted some statues through the windows. There will be stairs on your left that head up to where they are. You might want to save this upper area when leaving the temple (take the Journey to Enlightenment path next to the Seated Buddha). We did this part first, and it was clear from the way the statues were arranged that we were supposed to see them in the reverse order.
The path from the station will eventually take you down to the Sky Terrace. This large open space has colourful statues and gazebos for photos. There’s a bronze statue of the temple’s founder, Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong, at the bottom of the path. The Buddha Temple is the centrepiece of the terrace. I didn’t go inside as it only had space for a few people to pray. From the edge of the Sky Terrace, you could probably see KL if it’s a clear day.
Pagoda & Observation Tower – Level 13
The covered path at the edge of the terrace leads to a short escalator down to the Pagoda and Observation Tower. The observation tower has separate opening hours of 7 am to 5:30 pm. There’s a small shrine and a desk to buy offerings on the ground level. However, the real attraction is making the strenuous climb up the pagoda’s spiral staircase.
There are 9 floors in the observation tower, with 30 steps between each level, except for the first floor, which has 40. Each floor has open doors leading to the circular deck, where you can get a 360-degree view of the surrounding area.
Seated Buddha – Level 13
The Seated Buddha is at the edge of the Sky Terrace, nestled against a backdrop of trees. On this rainy, drizzly day, the Seated Buddha looked peaceful and perhaps even more photo-worthy with the fog adding a mystical aura.
Journey to Enlightenment & Guan Yin Statue – Level 13
Next to the Seated Buddha is the entrance to The Journey to Enlightenment. It is misleadingly named, as what follows are a series of gruesome scenes of the ten chambers of Hell. There’s a lot of blood, demons and people getting tortured. The statues are a bit too cartoony to be traumatizing, but it can be a bit much to look at repeatedly. At the end of all the dismemberment and agony, there is a towering statue of Guan Yin, the goddess of mercy and compassion.
Chin Swee Hall – Level 7
Chin Swee Hall is a large room built into the cave rock. This is the functional part of the temple with a donation box and offerings for sale. Behind the main shrine is a short tunnel to the temple’s holy water that you can buy in bottles. The 3D details around the hall are incredible – I spent a long time staring at the pillars that were full of art.
The temple’s turtle pond is out the side door. Unlike Sam Poh Tong in Ipoh, I didn’t see anywhere to buy food for the sacred turtles. Throwing coins into the pond seems to be what visitors do for luck. When heading back to the elevator, there’s a furnace in a courtyard with some images printed on its sides.
Four General Deity Temple – Level G
On the bottom floor is a rather unornamented room with a collection of statues. It was a bit sad to see these deities forgotten down here. There wasn’t a soul in this temple when we checked it out – not even any caretakers. If you go outside, you can see the full facade of Chin Swee Temple.
There are washrooms at Chin Swee Station right after you get off the gondola. They are down a corridor next to a self-service ticketing machine before all the escalators.
Once at Chin Swee Temple, there are toilets on levels 7, 12 and 13. I tried the two washrooms on the upper levels. Although they were decently clean, neither had any toilet paper.
Restaurants at Chin Swee Temple
Chin Swee Vegetarian Cuisine is the main restaurant at the temple, but the prices are expensive. Even though it says vegetarian in the name, they serve meat dishes like Bak Kut Teh. I didn’t peek inside the restaurant, but I would guess there’s a great view. There’s also a Starbucks on this floor if you want a smaller snack in the comfort of an enclosed cafe.
Level 13 (Outdoor Dining)
Level 13 has a greater variety of cheap and casual food. Take the escalator down to the pagoda to find the food stalls and gift shops. It’s like a mini outdoor food court, but there aren’t many tables. Although it’s covered, there’s no indoor space to eat, which could be a problem if it’s a particularly windy or cold day. There are many snack options like jerky, lok lok and gelato, but some vendors had simple rice and noodle dishes that could be a proper meal.
Chin Swee Temple is free and on the way to the highlands, so you might as well stop and look around. It doesn’t take long to see everything. The complex is mostly accommodations, so you could finish this attraction in under an hour. It’s not the most impressive cave temple (like Batu Caves or Kek Lok Tong), but it’s a worthwhile stop at Genting Highlands.
Chin Swee Temple website: https://www.chinswee.org/