Wong Tai Sin Temple

Admission:

Free

Hours:

7am-5:30pm daily

How to get there:

Located at 2 Chuk Yuen Village, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon. Take the MTR to Wong Tai Sin Station, exit B.

Wong Tai Sin Temple (黃大仙祠) is a great example of Chinese practicality. Technically a Taoist temple dedicated to Wong Tai—a man who found the way and ascended to Taoist godhood—it actually does triple duty, welcoming Confucians and Buddhists as well. This may account for its great popularity with Hong Kong residents. This and the promise of a quick return on one's prayers: Wong Tai is reputed to be an especially responsive and generous god, willing to turn stones into sheep and mere paper into money if you ask in the right way, making him a perfect god for pragmatic, business-minded Hong Kong citizens.

Join the crowds and see believers burn incense, kneel and shake out numbered sticks from a bamboo cylinder (the number determines one's fortune), delivered by one of the many fortune tellers on hand. The Chinese New Year is an especially active time at the temple and, if you're lucky, you might catch a wedding at the only temple in Hong Kong where traditional Taoist weddings are held. And if you're really lucky, one of the English-speaking fortune tellers will lay some good news on you (don't forget to give a little extra to help grease the celestial wheels).

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