In Hong Kong, faith is a grab-bag of no matter appears acceptable. Buddhism, Taoism and native people faith are widespread and intermingled, resulting in temples and shrines which might be devoted to nice gods, minor deities and probably the most humble of saints. Listed below are 9 you need to go to in Hong Kong.
The Massive Buddha
Based in 1906 by three monks from japanese China, the Po Lin Monastery sits excessive on Lantau Island. The temple and grounds are stunning sufficient, however most individuals (monks apart) go to due to the primary attraction: the Tian Tan Buddha, recognized to all because the Massive Buddha. The identify’s for apparent causes: weighing greater than 250 tonnes and sitting 34 metres (112 ft) tall, it’s the world’s largest outside seated bronze Buddha. Which may be numerous adjectives, however it’s a formidable sculpture nonetheless – should you’re not exhausted by the 268 steps it takes to achieve it.
Constructed on a boulder
Nestled away across the again of the quickly trendifying Tai Grasp district is the Lin Fa Temple, constructed within the mid-1800s as Hong Kong’s inhabitants rose from fishing group to British colony. Lin Fa means “lotus”, so named for the form of the boulder on which the temple each sits and is part of: the rear of the temple melds with the rock itself, whereas the opposite partitions type a curious half-octagon. If you’re executed together with your go to, pattern a contact of latest Tai Grasp at Second Draft simply across the nook, which serves fusion Hong Kong meals and a wealth of regionally brewed craft ales.
Banyans within the breeze

Pak Tai Temple, Hong Kong island’s largest temple advanced. {Photograph}: Tuomas Lehtinen/Getty Pictures
The road often known as Stone Nullah Lane is cut up into two halves: one is a bustling market, the opposite an enclave of a number of the metropolis’s coolest bars and eating places. However proper on the high of this sloping avenue sits Pak Tai Temple, rising above the chaos. Overhead, two huge banyan timber present aid to those that have simply slogged up the road within the top of summer time. Hong Kong island’s largest temple advanced is devoted to Pak Tai, a god who ensures that good triumphs over evil. The temple dates again to 1863, however the copper statue of Pak Tai that locks eyes with you as you enter is no less than two and a half centuries older.
The coed favorite

Man Mo Temple, named after the gods of literature and struggle. {Photograph}: Getty Pictures
The charming Man Mo Temple (124-126 Hollywood Highway, Sheung Wan) is called in honour of two deities: Man Tai, the god of literature, and Mo Tai, the god of struggle. The pair had been worshipped in imperial China by students searching for to do nicely within the all-important civil service examinations, and the temple continues to be frequented by college students in search of that further enhance to their examination grades. This small however stunning temple, in-built 1847, is especially set aside by its coated internal courtyard, wherein coils upon coils of incense cling, their smoke drifting lazily in direction of the heavens.
Greater than 10,000 Buddhas on the wall

Within the temple of the 10,000 Buddhas. {Photograph}: Getty Pictures
Attending to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (220 Pai Tau Village, Sha Tin) is half the enjoyable. It’s a brief stroll from Sha Tin MTR station to the steep temple path that runs up the hill and is flanked on both aspect by hundreds of life-size gold-coloured arhat saints. Every is exclusive and lots of are very odd certainly, partaking in the whole lot from curious gurning to shows of extraordinary superpowers. The temple itself dates again to the 1950s. In the primary corridor, near 13,000 Buddha statues occupy little niches alongside the partitions, main as much as the preserved and gilt-coated physique of Yuet Kai, the person who constructed the temple.
Sq. of life

The inside of the Tin Hau Temple. {Photograph}: gionnixxx/Getty Pictures/iStockphoto
The Tin Hau Temple in Yau Ma Tei is a little bit dose of serenity in the course of the confusion of Kowloon. The shrine is one in every of many devoted to the goddess of the ocean, Tin Hau: again within the day, earlier than the town’s in depth reclamation, it really used to take a seat by the shoreline. The temple is sweet, however what’s actually charming is the general public sq. in entrance of the temple, which lies shaded by a number of large banyan timber. Life is all the time enjoying out within the sq., with consumers taking a break from a busy day, or a clump of aged males gathering and yelling out useful (or in any other case) recommendation to these enjoying Chinese language chess. Close by is the superbly retro Mido Cafe (63 Temple Avenue, Yau Ma Tei), whose tiled flooring and green-framed home windows might have come straight out of a Wong Kar-wai film.
The wishing store

At Wong Tai Sin Temple, guests shake a bamboo stick from a cup which is then interpreted by a fortune-teller. {Photograph}: Alamy
Busy with vacationers and locals alike, the Wong Tai Sin Temple is a grand building the place needs are stated to come back true. The religious – and people simply having a punt – come to practise kau cim, a technique of fortune-telling wherein a query is posed whereas shaking a single numbered bamboo stick out of a cup stuffed with them. The primary to hit the bottom is then taken to a fortune-teller, the place for a modest charge your stick will likely be interpreted, and your divination offered.
Peaceable oasis

Chi Lin Nunnery, a haven of tranquility within the metropolis. {Photograph}: Supannee Hickman/Getty Pictures
The big Buddhist temple and picturesque grounds that make up Chi Lin Nunnery (5 Chi Lin Drive, Diamond Hill) and Nan Lian Backyard (60 Fung Tak Highway, Diamond Hill) reverse sit within the centre of the Diamond Hill district. They make for a curious distinction to the residential blocks that tower over the serene bridges, nonetheless lakes and clever rock gardens. It’s terribly peaceable in a metropolis that’s hardly famend for its tranquility. The buildings within the advanced had been crafted solely from wooden – with out a single nail in any respect. Make time to seize a chunk at Chi Lin Vegetarian restaurant, positioned beneath a waterfall within the gardens, which specialises in Buddhist vegetarian delicacies.
Gods of small issues
If you wish to see how day-to-day worship takes place in Hong Kong, then steer clear of the large temples and hold a watch out for the little shrines. The doorway of virtually each single ground-floor store could have a small shrine to the earth god, Tudi Gong, who watches over the land. That selfsame god is worshipped on the tiny Sam Yee Kwan Temple on the high of Wo On Lane within the coronary heart of Lan Kwai Fong’s nightlife district. Extra of a shrine than a temple, its origins are misplaced to time. Ponder them over a beer on the Child Buddha bar, which overlooks the spot.
• This text was amended on 10 December 2018 to switch a photograph of the Tin Hau Temple in Stanley with the Tin Hau Temple in Yau Ma Tei.