In this blog, we will define Chinese Temples as places of worship for Chinese Buddhism, Taoism, or Chinese folk religion (search Chinese Mythology) where people revere ethnic Chinese gods and ancestors. For innocent tourists, they might think that all of the temples are just all the same. On the contrary, every temple could be authentically different because of its history and Chinese God enshrined per temple. Similar to Roman or Greek Mythology, the Chinese can worship a lot of gods. In Chinese mythology, there are about 200-1000 deities/ spirits.
1.) Po Lin Monastery
Location: Ngong Ping Plateau, Tung Chung Town, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
The Po Lin Monastery’s building was closed during our visit. It was still a nice excursion though as we saw the Big Buddha. Before entering the vicinity of the Po Lin Monastery near Ngong Ping Village in Lantau Island, you will pass first a big arch then pass by the 12 statues of the Divine Generals which are lined up (6 statues each on both sides). These Divine Generals are the protective deities of the Buddha of Healing. Each statue represents a Chinese zodiac too. Looking at the Big Buddha, also known as Tian Tan Buddha, you will notice that his right hand is raised (symbolises dispelling affliction) while his left hand rests on his lap (symbolises a gesture of generosity). In front of the Big Buddha is a big circular stage. Go to the center marker of that circular stage then make a wish in front of the Big Buddha. After stating your wish, you should clap three times.
2.) Che Kung Temple
Location: Che Kung Miu Road, Tai Wai, Sha Tin, New Territories, Hong Kong
Che Kung Temple was named after the Southern Song dynasty general, Che Kung, who saved the last young emperors of the Song State (one of the warring states in China during 1127–1279). You can spin a wheel of fortune here to bring good luck for yourself. State your prayer then spin the fan-shaped wheel. Do it three times. After that ritual, you can beat either the drum or the bronze gong beside it.
3.) Tin Hau Temple, Tsuen Wan
Location: 1644, DD449 Wai Tsuen Rd, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong
There are many Tin Hau temples in Hong Kong due to its relevance on the maritime culture and tradition of Hong Kong since the ancient times. The temple enshrines sea goddess Mazu. The altars are normally guarded by two daemon brothers who are both Chinese sea and door gods- Chin Lei Ngan (Thousand Li eyes) and Shun Fung Yi (With the wind ear).
Other temples we should pay respect on our next visit to Hong Kong:
Wong Tai Sin Temple (Location: 2 Chuk Yuen Road, Wong Tai Sin District, New Kowloon, Hong Kong)
This temple is famed due to many prayers answered to worshipping visitors. They interestingly practice kau chim, fortune telling using sticks inscribed with texts and numerals. It is named after Wong Tai Sin or Great Immortal Wong, a Taoist deity which possesses the power of healing.
Man Mo Temple (Location: 124–126 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong)
This temple is named after Man (the god of literature) and Mo (the god of war). It is populary visited by people seeking for wisdom or progress on their studies.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Pai Tau, New Territories, Hong Kong)
This 8-hectares of land stages 13,000 Buddha images on display, with various poses, styles, materials and sizes. It was built by a devout Buddhist monk called the Reverend Yuet Kai with his followers in 1957.
Pak Tai Temple (Pak She St, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong)
This temple was reverred by most Taoist fishermen in Cheng Chau island since 1863. It was named after Pak Tai (the god of the sea).
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