Located just one metro station ahead of the beautiful Chi Lin Nunnery, Wong Tai Sin temple is one of Hong Kong´s most famous Taoist shrines and a highly popular tourist destination, easy to reach by the green line at Wong Tai Sin station.
It was dedicated to the “Great Immortal Wong” and is considered to be a “What you request is what you get” place of worship. This practice is known as kau cim in Cantonese and many people claim their prayers to have been answered here.
Maybe one of the reasons why this shrine was extremely busy while I paid visit on a Monday morning. Busloads of Chinese tourists were flooding the area like locusts a corn field and I had to wait sometimes for quite a few moments until I could take a decent photo of the place.
Most of the visitors come to the temple in search for a spiritual answer. They light incense sticks, kneel before the main altar, make a wish, and shake a bamboo cylinder containing fortune sticks until a stick falls out.
This stick is exchanged for a piece of paper bearing the same number, and then the soothsayer will interpret the fortune on the paper for the worshiper. Often the same piece of fortune is taken to multiple booths for verification purposes.
The temple consists of traditional Chinese architecture with red pillars, a gold roof with blue friezes, yellow latticework and multi-colored carvings.
There is a Nine-Dragon Wall modelled after one in Beijing. Some of the halls include the Great Hall and the Three-Saint Hall. Containing a portrait of Confucius, the Taoist temple has a collection of Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist literature.
There are also three memorial archways in the temple, with the first carved with the name of the temple at the entrance. The second memorial is along past the fortune-telling stalls, and the third one further ahead.
Apart from the beautiful architecture and layout of the buildings, my favorite spot inside the premise forms the Good Wish Garden.
The garden is set into a tranquil environment with a traditional Taoist garden pond. A wonderful place to rejuvenate and enjoy the landscape and the view.
While Wong Tai Sin lies more or less just one stop by metro away from the Chi Lin Nunnery, I would not recommend to visit both temples in one day. Chi Lin and Nan Lian Garden may be a bit even more impressive, but it would be unfair to consider Wong Tai Sin therefor less interesing.
Come here if you are seeking answers. The temple is well-known in whole mainland China for the most accurate fortune tellers, palm readers and soothsayers.
It is also one of the very few worship places in Hong Kong that actually allows weddings inside the temple! I loved this place, even apart from the masses. Gave me great insight into local traditions, beliefs and customs and therefor formed a wonderful contrast to the touristic side of Hong Kong. Check this website for further interesting info about Wong Tai Sin temple!