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Wong Tai Sin Temple

Location:In Kowloon. On Lung Cheung Road.
Opening time:7 a.m. to about 5:30 p.m. The garden is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Best time to visit: There is a lot of rain in the summer. Hong Kong is still fairly warm and is drier in October and November.
Fee:There isn't a fee to get in. But there are small fees for several halls and the Good Wish Garden. For the services of the fortune tellers or other people, there might be a fee.

How to Get There

1)MTR Train: MTR Wong Tai Sin Station Exit B2. The station is only about 200 meters away from the complex.
2)Taxi: You can show the name to the taxi driver.

Introduction

Decorated in a riot of colors, Wong Tai Sin Temple is an excellent example of a traditional Chinese temple and features red pillars in Hong Kong, a gold roof adorned with blue friezes, yellow lattice work and carvings. Most people who visit the temple have their fortune told by a 'soothsayer'.

As the only temple of Taoist in Hong Kong, it has welcomed thousands of tourists for many years. This Taoist temple is not ancient. As a matter of fact, it was built in 1921 and named for Wong Chuping, a shepherd who began following Taoism at the age of 15. By the age of 55, it is said that he reached enlightenment and gained immortality. From that point on, he was referred to as Wong Tai Sin.

History

It is said that a poor boy named Wong Cho Ping who lived in Zhejiang Province around the year 330 AD experienced hunger and poverty when he was very small. At the age of 8, he became a shepherd boy. According to his Autobiography that is published by the temple, Wong Cho Ping said that when he was 15, he was visited by a fairy who showed him how to refine the mineral cinnabar to make a drug that made him immortal. He lived in a cave. He transformed white rocks into sheep when his brother came to visit him when he was 55. According to the Autobiography, his brother also reached enlightenment and became an immortal.

When the Qing Dynasty fell in 1912, the Chinese people lost their god because they worshipped the emperors as deities. The Chinese people needed a religion to replace the old one of emperor worship. In 1915, Leung Renyan came to Hong Kong and set up a Chinese medicine shop and put a Taoist altar in the back of it where people could worship. In 1918, his shop was destroyed by fire. In 1921, Leung said that Wong Tai Sin told him to build a new shrine at the present site at the foot of Lion Rock Mountain in Kowloon. It is 3,600 paces from the Kowloon pier. It has became a popular temple for Taoists.

Features

  • Large and very active Taoist Temple complex with several halls and temples and a garden.
  • Hundreds of fortune tellers.
  • Mixes Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism.
  • Worshippers worship Wong Tai Sin.
  • The Taoist organization that manages the temple runs several charities including a clinic.
  • Convenient travel. It is only about 200 meters from the Wong Tai Sin MTR station.

Nearby Attractions:

The temple is only about a kilometer and a half away from Kowloon Walled City Park. That is where a large crowded complex of flats used to be. There is now a park there where people can learn a little about the history of that interesting place in Hong Kong's history.

There is another older Taoist temple called the Man Mo Temple on 124 Hollywood Road. It is dedicated to Man who is a god of literature and Mo who is a god of war.

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