October 22, 2013

Temple Street Market and Tin Hau Temple

Site Name: Temple Street Market and Tin Hau Temple
Site Type:     Street market and Chinese traditional temple
Location:  Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Highlights: One of the important street markets of Hong Kong; an important Chinese traditional temple
Nearest Train Station: MTR Yau Ma Tei station
Nearest Airport: Hong Kong
How to reach: Well connected by road; MTR Yau Ma Tei Station Exit C, walk along Man Ming Lane to Temple Street
Hotel: There are hotels available in Yau Ma Tei; however, you need to spend effort to find a good hotel 
Restaurants: Variety of eateries - mostly Chinese and even an Indian
Opening Hours: 8 am - 5 pm

Yau Ma Tei is an area in Kowloon in Hong Kong filled with narrow streets, crumbling buildings, small market areas and food stalls. Temple Street Night Market located in this area is an important market in Hong Kong. Tin Hau Temple which is located near the market is an important and old Chinese traditional temple. Let us explore about these two sites in this article.

Temple Street Market is one of the liveliest markets in Hong Kong. It comes alive in the evening; people throng to this market till mid night. Leather goods, Chinese tea, Hong Kong souvenirs and Chinese paintings are some of the best buys you can find in this market.

Tin Hau Temple is located at the junction of Temple Street and Public Square Street. There are around 40 temples in Hong Kong dedicated to Tin Hau, the Taoist Goddess of Sea. Among them, this temple is one of the most popular ones. 

This temple exists right from 1800 C.E. In 1864 C.E. the temple was enlarged and beautified. In 1876 CE, the temple was moved to the current site. 

The temple stands as an example for Chinese traditional temple architectural style. A large area of park around a big banyan tree is found in front of the temple. The main shrine of the temple, which usually has gold embroidered red cloth hung has the main deity, Tin Hau, the Chinese Sea Goddess. On either side of the main shrine, there are two small sub-shrines dedicated to Tou Tei, the Earth God and the city God Shing Wong

There are four big idols of sub-deities found near the platform where the devotees perform their prayers. Apart from that, there are a lot of small sized idols found across the entire temple. Interestingly, there is an idol which resembles the four headed Hindu God Brahma.

Like any other traditional Chinese temple, this temple also has a lot of incense spirals hung in the ceiling.

A must visit for a different experience in Hong Kong.

Happy travelling.

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