A Dragon Boat Temple in Malaysia You Just Cannot Miss!

The beautiful temple complex of Wat Mai Suwankiri

L: The gorgeous dragon boat. R: The main temple within the boat

While there are many Buddhist temples in Tumpat, let’s take a look at the magnificent structure that caught our attention today: The beautiful Dragon Boat Temple or Wat Mai Suwankiri.

A quick tour of the temple complex

Happy Diwali, peeps!

Hope you have a wonderful time with family and friends. Today, as I headed back from a warm family lunch at a friend’s place in Tumpat, I spotted a gorgeous temple on my way back. My friend had to pull over for us to admire the intricate details of the temple and click pictures to showcase the world that there are structures of great magnitude and importance in Kelantan as well.

A closer look at the bow of the dragon boat

Tumpat, a district of Kelantan, lies right next to Kota Bharu. It shares its borders with Thailand and Pasir Mas as well. A 45-minute drive from Kota Bharu city centre takes you to some of the most gorgeous Buddhist temples of Tumpat. This quiet little town forms the link between the Western area of Peninsular Malaysia and the state of Kelantan.

Keep 1-1.5 hours aside to take a tour of the complex


  • It is built on a dragon boat with naga-like creatures on either side
  • The boat is surrounded by water on all sides
  • Believed to be over a few hundred years old, the statue of the Buddha stands tall
  • A wax statue and the body of Phor Tan Di is preserved for worshippers to seek blessings
  • The temple lies at Kampung Bukit Tanah, close to Wat Phikulthong
  • Various shrines run through the expanse of the temple




The main pieces to note would be that of the dragon heads, garuda, Buddha, lamps, ceiling murals, archways, gateways, huge bells and pillars.

Can you spot the statue on the left-hand side?
The typical red pillars and dragons twirling around them
Buddha shying away from the sun

Hope you enjoyed the tour. Would you like to read about the other temples of Tumpat? Let us know in the comments below…

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16 thoughts on “A Dragon Boat Temple in Malaysia You Just Cannot Miss!

  1. Fab posts and loved the pictures and video, Wat Mai Suwankiri looks like a beautiful temple, I will have to visit one day. Love lathe pretty colours of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tumpat has a lot of Buddhists, and have built a small ‘Wat’ city type of area… where there are 4 such temples in a confined radius. Malaysia as such has: Malay, Chinese and Indians as the major ethnic groups.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do you know why this temple has many Dragons? I bet this style of temple is common in China, since dragon is a fortunate name to give your child. I’m curious why I’m Malaysia.

    I would defintely like to see more temples in Tumpat!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Waa this just looks amazing, I have been to Taoist temple in the south of the Philippines and they also have this large dragon in green, not a boat though but it’s like a dragon snake, it resembles some of your photos here, this is really beautiful !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Was curious that i generally see a statue of a devi with flowers at temples,hotels,shops etc.Who is this devi and what does she signify?Besides this the boat temple photos/writeup was interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

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