Hong Kong’s visitors seek out a wide range of natural, cultural and beautiful attractions and some of the most popular attractions remain the temples. The best time to visit the temples in Hong Kong is from October to December when the weather is pleasant, sunny and cool. Here is a list of the best spiritual temples to see whilst in Hong Kong.
Chi Lin Nunnery 志蓮淨苑
Buddhist Temple, Shrine, Building, Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark
One of the largest Buddhist temples, the Chi Lin Nunnery was founded in 1934. It is located in Diamond Hills, Kowloon, Hong Kong. The temple was renovated in the 1990s, when it was redesigned in the style of the Tang Dynasty. The temple halls have three types of statues: the Sakyamuni Buddha, the goddess of mercy Guanyin and bodisattvas, which are made up of gold, clay and wood. It is the world’s largest handmade wooden building, made of cypress wood. To build this temple, a special interlocking system was used without nails. There are 16 halls in total inside the temple and there is a huge garden in front of the temple as well.
The first construction of the Miu Fat Buddhist Temple was in the 1950s, when it was a three story building. It was rebuilt in 2010 as a 10 story building, which is located in Lam Tei, Tuen Mun District. The building has a Buddhist Shrine, a community hall, a library, cultural welfare facilities and a kitchen serving vegetarian food. Two halls are located in the building; one is the Ten Thousand Buddha’s hall, which is 45 meters tall and designed with a lotus shrine, and the other is the Mahavira hall which holds three gold plated statues of buddhas Sayamuni. Each side of the entrance has columns carved with gold scaled dragons.
This is one of the oldest temples in Hong Kong. It is located at the foot of Castle Peak, and inside the characters ‘香海名山’ – meaning ‘fragrant sea and prestigious mountain’ – are engraved on the portico. The main hall is Ching Wan Koon and is dedicated to Dou Lao, a god who is believed to be able to relieve people of their worries.
This temple was founded in 1955 by Buddhist laymen Yuet Kai. He himself carried the material during construction, which took eight years. By 1957, around 12,800 Buddha statues were made for this monastery. Due to his many efforts, Yuet Kai’s dead body is preserved in a glass case inside the temple. There are five halls in total which hold statues, most of which are placed outside in different poses.
The Po Lin Monastery is located on Lotus Island, Hong Kong, and was founded in 1906. There are three main Buddha statues, made of bronze, which represent present, past and future. Near to this temple, famous handmade wooden bracelets are sold. The temple is dedicated to Guanyin, The Goddess of Mercy.
Fung Yin Seen Koon was founded in 1929 and its name is based on two fairy islands: Fang Lai and Ying Chau. The temple features a gorgeous architectural design, including an eye-catching bright orange roof.
This temple was named after Mr. Lam Yuk Mo and first founded in 1783. Later on, several renovations were made and many people donated jewels and antiques to the temple. Pak Tai is the main goddess, who is worshipped because of her courage, power and devotion. There are other deities including Guanyin, Tai Sui, Tin Hua and Tu Di Gong: the goddess of mercy, god of time, god of matchmaking and local earth god respectively. The temple houses an iron sword, a golden crown made of 20 ounces of gold and a Pak Tai statue. There is also a sedan chair, incense burners, two stone pillars and a bronze bell. There are a total of three halls, with the Pak Tai statues placed in the main hall. Worshippers usually visit during two main festivals: Pak Tai festival and Ban festival.
Built in 1847, Man Mo Temple is located on Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan. The main hall of this temple is dedicated to the civil god Man Cheong and the martial god Kwan Tai. In 1908, its administration was given to the Tung Wa board of directors. In 1958, it was rebuilt by the Chinese Temple Committee. In this temple, the gods Man Tai (civil or literature god), Man Cheong, and Mo Tai are prayed to by those who want to progress in their studies and do well in civil examinations.
One of the most famous tourist attractions in Hong Kong, this temple is dedicated to Wang Tai Sin and it is believed that whatever you request in this temple will come true, via a practice called Kau Sim. It is designed in the traditional Chinese style with grand red pillars, a golden roof adorned with blue friezes, yellow latticework and multi-colored carvings. The temple grounds feature three memorial archways and are usually at their busiest during Wong Tai Sin’s birthday (the 23rd day of the 8th lunar month) and Chinese New Year. Usually people come to revisit after their wishes come true.