Wong Tai Sin Temple
Wong Tai Sin Temple © maureen lunn
This grand Taoist temple is one of the most frequently visited temples in Hong Kong. It is dedicated to Wong Tai Sin, a legendary hermit who reputedly had healing powers and could foretell the future. A number of fortune tellers ply their trade in the temple complex and there is also a large pharmacy. There are some English-speaking fortune tellers (although they are more expensive) and they offer a number of soothsaying techniques including palm and face reading. The ornate temple with its red pillars, gold ceilings and decorative latticework is in the traditional Chinese style and is usually full of people burning incense and making floral offerings. The temple is known as a place where 'wishes come true' and locals come to pray for good health, success in business and happiness. You can buy incense to burn just outside of the temple but there are usually lots of spare sticks left over from previous visitors within the temple itself so buying a bunch of your own may prove a waste of money; if you do buy the incense make sure you don't also purchase the whole kit because everything other than the sticks themselves will be taken from you by the guards before you enter the temple proper. The temple also has a lovely adjacent park called the 'Good Wish Gardens', a peaceful green spot with waterfalls tumbling over rocks.
Address: 2 Chuck Yuen Village, Kowloon
Telephone: 2327 8141
Transport: MTR to Wong Tai Sin, exit B
Opening times: Daily 7am to 5:30pm, gardens closed on Mondays.
Admission: Free (although donations are welcome)