Snakes freak me out. And it is for that very reason that I have never stepped foot into the Penang Snake Temple
which is also known as Hock Kin Keong or Cheng Hoon Giam. Snakes...big or small they are scary!
Every year I return to Penang for numerous times and it wasn't until the recent 3,2,1-STOP
@ BHR that I actually stepped into the temple and remained in it for a good 15 minutes. This has to be one of the longest 20 minutes of my life. I just had to do it. How could I write about this snake temple which is possibly the only of its kind in the world if I do not step in to see and experience it myself?
This temple was built in honour of a deity named Chor Soo Kong. It is believed that the snakes somehow made their way to this temple as soon as it was built. And to this day there are certainly snakes and quite plenty of them here. The snakes were everywhere. One just needs to look around and you'll see them chilling or coiled on tree branches or if indoors then look at the decors or above you.
in the courtyard
this one has just eaten (see the budge) and was somewhere quite high up a tree
Apparently these snakes are actually venomous and their fangs are left intact. As to why they don't attack or bite...Some believe the incense being burnt in the temple numbs or paralyses the snakes. The devotees believe that the snakes will not harm humans as they are officers or the deity Chor Soo Kong. Either way, I am just glad no one got bitten.
perhaps the incense calms them?
Look around and you may just see even a snake skin like this one. Actually, I did overhear someone say that the skin could be used for his wife's purse. Aiks!
And if you're adventurous or brave enough for a picture with a snake like these 2 ladies, you could have your picture taken for a small fee. Me? Seeing from a distance is enough!
This Snake Temple in Sungai Kluang is not far from the Penang Airport and I would recommend this to be a stop since its merely 5 minutes away and is pretty much along the way to town.