Ling Gwan Kiong is an old Chinese temple that forms part of the now defunct seaport complex in Singaraja, North Bali. The temple is within only short walk away from the seaside Pura Segara temple, another landmark in the area, and a 15-minute drive east from Lovina Beach. Locals refer to the temple by the name ‘klenteng’, a narrow term for Chinese Buddhist temples. Dating back to 1873 with connections to the Ching Dynasty, the temple bears silent witness to the town’s colourful past.
You can admire its mini gardens and vivid murals outside dominated by red and gold. An ornate bridge over lotus ponds leads you to the main structure of Ling Gwan Kiong, which has heavily carved and hand-painted wooden gates depicting Chinese deities. No entry fees apply; feel free to drop a sum into the donation box. Take off your shoes and keep silent when entering the inner sections, where devotees come, light incenses and conduct prayers before a beautiful altar. Some old turtles roaming freely on the tiled floor and around water-filled terracotta vessels add to the unique sights.
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