KUANTAN - A T-Rex is now in town. Interestingly, this giant replica is built inside a Chinese temple.
This is the latest attraction of Lao Zi Temple, located on the way to the former mining town of Sungei Lembing.
Every year, some 100,000 visitors, including those from Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore, come to pay homage to Lao Zi, the founder of Taoism.
The temple is famed for the Golden Dragon, said to be the longest in the world, and the 7m-high replica of Lao Zi.
The Malaysia Book of Records has certified it as "The Longest Dragon Statue" in the country.
Temple owner Kui Fook Weng said the T-Rex and the replicas of three other dinosaurs took five months to complete.
Kui said the idea was from his father who dreamt about the extinct terrestrial reptiles last year.
"One day, he told me about it while having breakfast and my son, a big fan of dinosaurs, immediately jumped at the idea of having them built in the orchard.
"It is widely believed that before mankind, dinosaurs roamed the world millions of years ago. So we want visitors to have a feel of the prehistoric era. Also, this is religious tourism at its best to help promote Kuantan and Pahang," he said.
Kui said his son then showed him pictures from his dinosaur collection and selected four to be built.
After getting his father's nod, a team of sculptors was hired.
"The size and other attributes were done according to the records. We want to create a surrealistic feel for visitors so that they can talk about it and share with others," he said.
Kui added that the dinosaurs would complement existing structures and statues of deities.
He said that every year, they would build and add new structures and features to draw in more visitors.
Among them are a fish pond surrounded by the 12 Chinese zodiac signs, a brass image of the Goddess of Mercy dating back to the Ming dynasty, Monkey God, a pair of Earth dragons, prosperity Buddha, Confucius, Gods of Wealth, Prosperity and Longevity, God of Beggars, a three-legged toad, a wishing bell and a pair of longevity and prosperity tortoises.