Jenjarom junket.

A lot of people don’t realise this, but sometimes when I hear a name of a place, I sometimes feel compelled to visit. Jenjarom is such a place. Sekinchan too! A few weeks ago, Eddy and I decided to take a short day-visit to Jenjarom, since it wasn’t too far away.

I like the fact that it was just down the LDP and then the SKVE from where we live, about a half-hour’s drive on a traffic-free day. From the SKVE, we got to see the borders of the newer parts of Puchong and also 16 Sierra, Putra Perdana and those newer neighbourhoods, all of which looked pretty elegant from the highway.

Once off the highway, we were on a few trunk roads that led into the township. Jenjarom is apparently one of the new villages established in mid 20th century under the Briggs Plan during Emergency to ensure the safety of Chinese villagers from the communist insurgents.

As such, the town is predominantly a Chinese town, which is evident as soon as you drive in. Most of the eateries are old style coffee shops or stalls, and there is a massive Chinese school along the main road. Loads of fruit stalls and snack stalls were also open along the main road, and there were many many Chinese shops along the road as well (from phone shops to grocery shops). So we were surprised to see what looked like a hipster cafe, which turned out to be an Indian Muslim shop selling roti canai, nasi lemak, nasi kandar etc.

But the real reason we were there (aside from visiting a place with a name like Jenjarom) was to visit the temples. What temples there were to visit, I personally didn’t know (as in, I neglected to do any research on it). So we relied on Waze to tell us what the popular temples were.

Waze took us to the Main Street, where we soon came upon a new temple. I am not sure why, but in retrospect now as I write, I cannot seem to find its name, either on Waze or on Google Maps. I think it is on Jalan Sungai Buaya, which is main road, near the market. It is a Chinese Taoist (?) temple, with many food and prayer stalls within its compound.

The temple itself was pretty majestic and fairly well kept (being so sparkly and new). I love the dragons and the statues around and within the temple.

After that, we kinda were hungry. Having seen a “cafe” further up the street, we decided to walk up. The cafe turned out to be a fancy mamak stall. The food was alright. Along the way, there were interesting food stuff, like fried jackfruit, bananas, yams and sweet potatoes, sometimes hard to find in urban settings.

We walked back to the car and decided to head to the famous Buddhist zen temple, Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple. I have seen this temple in photos, and heard about it from friends, plus Eddy is keen on Zen Buddhism, so we were looking forward to experiencing it.

By the time we got there, it was close to 11 am, so it was pretty hot. The temple itself, I head, had many gardens, but the main one in front was undergoing some refurbishment. The atmosphere here reminded me a little of churches on a Saturday or a Sunday afternoon. Some spaces had some bustle and activity (I guess religious lessons), and there was a cafe of sorts behind of the halls.

There were meditation gardens, and a huge hall with amazing copper tooling artwork, together with a memorial area for the departed at the entrance of that hall. We took a walk down the gardens, and there was a really nice one at the far end with representations of all the disciples Buddha.

I heard it gets really pretty around Chinese New Year, but we purposely didn’t go there in the evenings, when the lights are supposed to be amazing, because we like to avoid crowds. After about an hour and half, it was getting pretty hot.

On Waze, there was apparently a Siamese Buddhist temple on the outskirts of the town. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find it so we gave up and made our journey home. It was a pretty good half-day excursion if you’re interested in something less urban and a little in the way of religious buildings.

What do you think? Have you been to Jenjarom? Are you from there? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below1

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