Temple-Hopping in Hong Kong
Breathing fresh air is always better when you’re surrounded by tall mountains, finely pruned trees, and quaint structures that have been around since time immemorial. Those who have craved for nature and the stillness strongly exuded by the temples after being cooped up in their own homes for so long definitely need time out from work to breathe and relax.
Hong Kong is home to a number of temples easily accessed by bus, train, and coupled with a short, little hike for some. If temple-hopping is one of the things on your bucket list (as it should be, trust us!), check out these five outstanding fanes on your next trip to Asia’s World City that would really tickle your senses and satisfy your travel bug.
1. Man Mo Temple
Considered as a Grade One Historical Building by the Hong Kong Antiquities Advisory Board in 1994, this shrine is one of the best-known temples in Hong Kong. Eminent for its traditional craftsmanship, it was dedicated to the King Emperor Man and Holy King Emperor Kwan, two gods who were once human. This is where the God of Literature and the God of Martial Arts are worshipped, and where most people visit to pray for peace and success.
2. The Big Buddha
If you’re up for a little hike during your visit to Hong Kong, the 268-steps on Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, leads you to one of the largest outdoor-seated Buddha statues in the world. Tian Tan Giant Buddha has stood as a symbol of stability of Hong Kong, prosperity of China, and peace on Earth. Fun fact: it took 12 years to plan and build this bronze statue atop Mount Muk Yue! If this sight doesn’t intrigue you to visit, we don’t know what will!
3. Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden
Chanting nuns and finely-trimmed, well-pruned bonsai plants await you at this calm oasis in the bustling city center of Hong Kong. With its impressive architecture designed to bring you back to the days of the Tang Dynasty, this is the first structure in Hong Kong built without a single nail insight. Adjacent to this stretch of lotus ponds and smartly-placed bonsai trees is the Nan Lian Garden, a public park of 3.5 hectares of gorgeous landscape. Pagodas, pavilions, bridges, rock formations, and a manmade waterfall encompass this breathtaking garden, complete with a vegetarian restaurant and tea house to the side.
4. Wong Tai Sin Temple
Curious to know about different religions? Wong Tai Sin Temple is the perfect spot for you! This temple houses Buddhists, Taoists, and Confucians, and is known to make all worshippers’ requests come true. Despite it being one of the busiest temples in Hong Kong, individuals still come to visit as it is considered as one of the luckiest too. A tickling sight for the senses, it should definitely be in your list of temples to visit.
5. Sha Tin Che Kung Temple
Built in honor of Che Kung, or General Che, worshippers visit this temple to pay respects for his loyalty and courage during the Southern Song dynasty. One of the temples flocked by people on the second day of the Lunar New Year, visitors come and pray for luck and protection for the incoming year.
Visiting temples isn’t just all about asking for good luck—it’s also a sign of wanting to feel relief and hope that better days are about to come. These temples should be on your must-see list on your next visit to Hong Kong where you can immerse yourself in nature and positive energy to clear your head and relax.
Learn more about Hong Kong and plan your next visit at discoverhongkong.com and @DiscoverHongKong on Facebook.