I may not have much appreciation about Taoist gods but what I came here for is the Temple’s signature image: the giant sandalwood spiral incense that may keep on burning for a couple of weeks. Believer’s wishes are written on [red] paper, hanged at the center of the incense with the hope that they will be granted by the gods in high heavens.
The Temple, built in 1847 A.D., is dedicated to two Gods “Man” the god of Literature and “Mo” the god of War. Literally translated, “Man” means Civil and “Mo” means Martial . There are a lot of Temples in HKG but on our 5th day, we choose to visit Man Mo Temple in HKG Island, a few blocks walk from Central Ferry Terminal to Hollywood Road. Passing through side streets of the busy central business district was both fun and amusing.
Located amidst worn yet towering apartment buildings, I was amazed that the Temple is maintained in its original charm and glory, having been built close to 200-years now. It may be tiny, its architecture may not be as grand and it may not have a huge yard but as it is, it does not pass anyone’s sight because of its unique personality seating right at the middle of modern HKG.
The atmosphere inside the Temple is informal that makes the visit much less intimidating. In fact, there were more tourists taking pictures of the incense than local worshiper’s. If you are sensitive to smoke, however, you may not have as much good time because the incense (a lot!) just hangs overhead. If you cannot stand the smoke, an “honest-to-goodness” (as described) fortune teller can be found at the door next to the entrance. Only voluntary donation is called for.
The location of the Temple, Hollywood Road is also known as HKG’s Mecca for Chinese antiques and curious. From huge ivory and jade carvings to the tinniest old coins and pieces, you can find it here. We got some from a store with [fortunately] nice sellers. 🙂
See more pictures of the Man Mo Temple in MY FLICKR HERE!