Malaysia has been featured in numerous international films, TV shows and documentaries. From landmarks such as the Petronas Twin Towers and Batu Caves to destinations like Melaka and Langkawi Island, the country has had its fair share of exposure on the international entertainment field.
The Puu Jih Shih Temple in Sandakan, Sabah, has also made an appearance in a popular TV show – The Amazing Race 4 in 2003.
Why you should go
The temple was officiated on Sept 26, 1987 by Sabah’s then Chief Minister, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan (now Tan Sri). It is the biggest Buddhist temple in Sandakan and, apart from being an active place of worship, it is also one of the “must-see” tourist attractions in the area.
There are more than a dozen statues of Buddha lined up along the side of the road that leads up to the grand temple archway, which is a marvel to look at.
What to do
Located high on a hill, Puu Jih Shih is the best place you can go to get a panoramic view of Sandakan bay, the town and the Sulu Sea.
Visitors are allowed to roam around and take pictures, but are advised to keep quiet and respect the privacy of the devotees who may be performing their prayers.
Sometimes, the temple will hold special events and activities like vegetarian dinners for the community and charity work, and visitors are welcome to either join in or just observe.
There’s a long staircase that leads to a beautiful garden, while a small shop selling trinkets and souvenirs is located within the temple grounds.
Puu Jih Shih is not part of the Sandakan Heritage Trail, but you can always ask your tour guide to make a slight detour to check it out if time permits.
Who will like it
Even if you’re not a devotee, you may still find this place a nice and relaxing visit as it is so tranquil and well maintained. Plus, the view of Sandakan Bay really is wonderful.
Puu Jih Shih is about 4km away from Sandakan town. You can take a bus to go there, but it only stops at the foothill – you would have to walk about 1km up a pretty steep hill to get to the temple.
There are taxis and ride-sharing services in Sandakan so those will be better options for folks who are not too keen on walking there.
Direct flights to Sandakan from Kuala Lumpur are available daily from AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, Firefly and Malindo Air.
Puu Jih Shih Buddhist Temple (Puu Jih Syh),
90000 Sandakan, Sabah
Tel: 089-225 399