A Sanctuary of Devotion, Statues and Lush Gardens

A lucky rooster statue
Confucian Hall
The Main Alter
Statue of Bixia Yunjun
Red Lanterns
Golden Wall (detail)
Entrance
Bronze statue of a Chinese dragon
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Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

Nestled in Kowloon’s Chuk Yuen district, Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple is a vibrant testament to the legacy of Master Wong Tai Sin, a revered Taoist deity known for his healing powers. Founded in 1921, the temple has blossomed into a must-visit for any traveller seeking a glimpse into Hong Kong’s heart.

Master Wong Tai Sin & Jinhua Mountain

Legend tells of Master Wong Tai Sin, born Wong Cho-ping in 328 AD. Raised humbly, he began herding sheep on Jinhua Mountain. Fate intervened at 15, leading him to a life of Taoist enlightenment within a secluded cave. Years later, his brother tirelessly searched for him, finally reuniting with the help of a priest. Witnessing Wong Tai Sin’s miraculous transformation of boulders into his missing sheep flock, the brother pledged himself to Taoism, ultimately achieving immortality alongside him.

Divinely Guided Construction

The temple’s construction is imbued with a touch of the divine. In 1921, Taoist priests received instructions through divinely inspired text, designating a specific location for a new temple to propagate religious teachings. Following these instructions, they marked the spot and commenced construction with the main altar. Over time, the initial structures were joined by others, solidifying the temple’s presence.

Wong Tai Sin Temple Architecture

The temple’s architectural design is a captivating blend of Taoist principles, Confucian influences and Buddhist elements. The very layout reflects Chinese Feng Shui, with the Yuk Yik Fountain symbolising water, the Yue Heung Pavilion fire, the Earth Wall earth, and the Bronze Pavilion metal.

Wong Tai Sin Temple’s legacy promises a journey full of wonder and discovery

Wang Ling-guan Shrine

Visitors follow a designated route, beginning with the Wang Ling-guan Shrine, dedicated to Taoism’s guardian deity. A magnificent bodiless lacquerware statue depicts Wang Ling-guan, protector of the temple gates.

Chinese Zodiac Animals

A brief escalator ride leads to the second worshipping platform, where twelve imposing bronze statues representing the Chinese zodiac animals line the perimeter. These figures, adorned with traditional clothing, bear the wear of countless hands reaching out for good fortune.

Further along, the third worshipping platform sits majestically adorned with dragons and cranes. The air is thick with incense as devotees light their offerings. Identical statues of kneeling Taoist priests flank the space, their outstretched hands holding bronze oil lamps.

Ascending to the Main Altar

After their rituals, visitors return to the second platform before proceeding towards the main altar. A meticulously carved stone sculpture, the Dragon Wall, depicting nine dragons, graces the steps leading upwards.

Jinhua Heritage Pai-fong

A grand triple archway, the Jinhua Heritage Pai-fong, marks the entrance to the main worshipping platform. Visitors navigate through the smaller side openings. This impressive structure is a result of extensive renovations undertaken in 2008.

Finding Tranquillity in the Good Wish Garden

After completing their offerings, visitors can seek solace in the Good Wish Garden, situated to the right of the first worshipping platform. A welcoming golden statue of Confucius greets visitors at the entrance. Encompassing an area of 5,580 square meters, the Good Wish Garden is a haven of tranquillity, established in the 1980s and opened to the public in 1991. It evokes the spirit of the Summer Palace with its artificial lake, cascading waterfall, intricate bridges, elegant pavilions, and a meandering open corridor.

Taoist Symbolism

Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple stands not only as a beacon of spiritual practice but also as a vibrant array of Chinese culture and history. From the intricate Taoist symbolism embodied in its architecture to the stories whispered in its halls, the temple offers a glimpse into a world rich in tradition and belief. Stepping through its gates is like stepping back in time, immersing oneself in a history far older than the towering skyscrapers that rise outside. Whether seeking spiritual solace, cultural understanding, or simply a moment of peaceful escape, Wong Tai Sin Temple’s legacy promises a journey full of wonder and discovery.