Penang Snake Temple

We visited the Penang Snake Temple on 22 June 2010. We initially wanted to visit the Bukit Jambul Orchid and Reptile Garden and the GPS navigator led us into the Bukit Jambul Country Club instead. I stopped by 2 foreign security guards at a condominium to ask them where the Bukit Jambul Orchid and Reptile Garden but they did not know anything about it. So, drove into Equatorial Hotel and asked the friendly bellboy there and he told us that the Bukit Jambul Orchid and Reptile Garden had already been closed to the public for quite some thing. Is this true? I felt that it was strange - because the websites online did not not mention anything about it.

Thus, we decided to visit the Snake Temple instead. There were 2 Snake Temple in the GPS system. I tried one and the GPS brought us to some unknown place that were with some shops. It couldn't be the Snake Temple. So, I tried the other location. The GPS instructions weren't very clear, and I missed a lane. I didn't U-turn back, thinking that I could just get around and go to our destination, but that proved to be the cause of us getting lost once again, in search of the elusive Snake Temple. The GPS directed us to an industrial estate and there were just factories in the area. Finally, we found a guy who explained to us the correct direction, and at long last, arrived at the Snake Temple.

It was different from what I had in my memory. Somehow, my memory held a nicer picture. When I visited the place in late 1980's, there were many snakes there all over the place and we could hold a snake and snap pictures with it, dangling round our neck or holding it in our hands. Now, it has turned commercialised. The snakes were kept in a cage in a dimly lit room and people had to pay to take pictures. There were so few snakes there. 

I went to the temple at the front with the altar and hadn't noticed that there were some snakes there at the altar until I asked my mother where the rest of the snakes were. She pointed to the altar. I don't think many people noticed the snakes there as it was coiling inconspicously and perched on a coiled bamboo structure at the altar. 

Revisiting the Snake Temple more than 20 years later made me feel sad that there were so few snakes left.

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