Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple or just simply Wong Tai Sin Temple is located just a station away from Nan Lian Garden. The temple is passable through a large memorial arch and covers an area of about 18,000 square meters. The temple is home to three religions: Taoism, Confucianism & Buddhism. It is said to grant all wishes, no wonder it's  that very popular among locals and tourists and the most busiest temple in Hong Kong. It is busier and more popular than Nan Lian Garden and Chi Lin Nunnery.
Supreme Paradise Pai-Fong (Gateway)
The temple was built to commemorate the famous monk of yore, Wong Tai Sin also known as Huang Chu-ping. He said to be the healer of the wounded, savior of the dying and punisher of the evil. He was not only worshiped by the sick but also businessmen with problems. The structures of the temple represents the five Geomantic Elements: Metal (Bronze Pavilion), Wood (Archives Hall), Water (Yuk Yik Fountain), Fire (Yue Heung Shrine) where the Buddha of Lighting Lamp is worshiped, and Earth (Earth Wall).
Jin Hua Heritage Pai-Fong (Gateway)
The first Sik of the Sik Sik means thriftiness while the latter means human desire or colorful things. If you take it literally, the meaning contradict each other. How can someone be thrifty if you want colorful things or have human desires. However, the two words when put together means Spirituality, Tranquility, Intuition and Purification.
I've witnessed how popular and busy this temple is when we visited there. It's a normal day but a lot of people were there to worship the God of the Temple. Most of the visitors are Chinese and you have to very patient in order to see the temple. It tends to be very foggy also because of the incense they burn at the shrine. I don't know if the incense makes the temple hotter or it's just hot when when we visited, but if you are planning on going there, go early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Huge Cauldron at the very center of the Pai-Fong in front of the Main Altar
What I like about the attractions in Hong Kong is how organized they are when it comes to visitors. Like this temple, visitors are required to use the one way system around the complex. You have to pass through the specified entrance and exit. Visiting the temple is a must if you want to observe how the locals worship their Gods. 
Wong Tai Sin Temple is the only temple in Hong Kong which is permitted to conduct Taoist wedding ceremonies and issue a marriage certificate. Like make Chines Temples, it's not allowed to take pictures of their altar or the altar on the background. 

Below are  some of the interesting altars, halls and shrines inside the Temple.

Wang Ling Guan Shrine

Main Altar & Platform
At the center of the main altar is where the picture of Wong Tai Sin and the wooden sculpture of how he became God is located. Scriptures and images of the three religions were engraved on the temple walls. The traditional Chinese Architecture can be seen on the large red pillars with gold calligraphy, yellow roof-tiled roof and colorful carvings. On the right side of the altar stands the Monkey King which serves as the protector of the altar.
The large space in front of the altar is the platform where people worship the God of the Temple by holding bundles of burning incense and bow before going inside the temple. The burning sticks were in put the box in front of the temple and a guy breaks them into two. I don't know why he did that and when I heard one of the tourists said, "That guy's job is to take everyone's wishes and crash them", which make sense to me. It's like he's trying to sabotage all the wishes.
Inside the temple, worshipers kneel and shake fortune sticks until one falls out. It is then exchange for a piece paper than can be interpreted by one of the 161 fortune teller stalls at the Fortune Telling and Oblation Arcade that can also be found at the temple.

Secondary Worshiping Platform
On the platform can be found the bronze statues Zodiac Animal Statues, and it's the first platform you'll reach after entering the complex. It's connected to the Main Platform by short steps and a gateway called Pai-Fong. I wasn't able to take pictures of all the statues because of the people walking around and blocking them.

Caichen (God of Wealth) | Yao Wang (God of Chinese Medicines)| Fuk Tak Shrines
Located on the left side of the Main Platform, right after the gateway from the secondary platform are the three shrines that houses the three Gods Taoism. 
Caichen Shrine is dedicated to the God of Prosperity, General Chiu Kung Ming. He's one of the four Guarding Gods of Taoism that said bring prosperity to wealth chasers. 
Yao Wang Shrine is dedicated to Suen Sze Miu, Taoism's King of Medicine. He's a famous medical practitioner and Toiast Master during the Sung Dynasty.
Fuk Tak Shrine is dedicated to To To, the two celestial Gods protecting the Earth. According to Taoist scriptures, they are the God of blessings and virtues.

Yuk Yik Fountain
On our way out, I've saw this interesting fountain and thought that it's just put there to make the place beautiful. Not realizing that most Chinese Temples does not put something without any meaning. The fountain has 7 lotus flowers sprouting water and made of bronze. It represents the water in the Five Elements.

Yue Heung Shrine
As you go out of the temple, you'll see this shrine as the background of the Yuk Yik Fountain. It worships the Buddha of the Lighting the Lamp. It is painted red, representing Fire in the Five Elements.
Yee Mut Hall (Memorial Hall)
It contains the memorial tablets of deceased Pu Yi Tan, the last Emperor of China and the twelfth and final ruler of the Qing Dynasty.

Fung Ming Hall (Hall of the Phoenix Song)
This two-storey hall in traditional Chinese palace design is used for holding local community activities. It was used as the main worshiping hall when the Main Altar is renovated. Just below it is the the Po Chai Hall which contains a Herbal clinic on the lower floor that provides free medical consultation.

Three Saints Hall
Is the worshiping house for the three deities: Master Lui of Taoism, Guan Yin of Buddhism and Guan Di of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. It is located just beside the Main Altar.

From the many attractions to see inside the temple's complex, these are only ones I've visited because we are running late for our visit to Hong Kong. Aside from that, the place is really hot and smoky my friend hates it that we had to leave. But if you have enough time and want to explore more, these are the other important places in the temple.

Good Wish Garden
I wish I've visited this place as this is what I've been looking for even before we visited the temple. I've saw the pavilion in the internet and I was actually looking forward to see it. The Garden is a miniature replica of the Summer Palace in Beijing.
Tai Sui Yeunchen Hall 
Is a palace that can be found underground the temple. It took 3 years and cost HK$100 million to complete this hi-tech underground palace. Incense is not allowed inside and worshiping is done electronically.

Yuelao and Couples
I really should have visited this shrine where the statue of Yue Lao is located, the matchmaker and the God of Marriage. His statues is located in the middle of a female and a male statues.

Nine Dragon Wall
This one is located just behind the Main Altar. A replica of the Nine Dragon mural in the Forbidden City.

Oh and if you believe in Fung Sui and fortune telling, make sure to visit the 601 fortune teller stalls at the Fortune Telling and Oblation Arcade. Most of the fortune tellers speak English so you can tell what future you have and understand it. Make sure to listen very carefully as it will cost you HK$100.00 and up.
Like any other temples, Wong Tai Sin also has a worshiping rules. These are:
  • Worshiper are advised to bring only nine incense stick into the temple and proceed to the incense burning area. Three sticks can be offered at each of the three offering areas in front of the Main Altar, Three Saints Hall, and Yeu Hung Shrine.
  • Visitors and guests are advised to follow the one-way route around the complex. This is stricly enforced during busy times.
Business Hours:
Wong Tai Sin Temple is open from 7:00am to 5:30pm daily except on a Chinese New Year's Eve. During that time it closes at 5:30pm but re-opens at 9:00pm and stays open until 6:00pm on the First Day of the Chinese New Year.

Good Wish Garden is open from 8:00pm to 5:00pm daily. While the Tai Sui Yuenchen Hall is open from 8:00am to 5:00pm daily. It is closed on on Chinese New Year's Eve and Chinese New Year's Day.

Entrance Fees:
There's no entrance fee at the temple, but there are donations boxes around the complex for those who want to give.

Entrance fee at the Tai Sui Yuenchen Hall is HK$100.00 for adult and HK$50.00 for children.
Going to the Good Wish garden will cost you HK$2.00 and up, depending on how much you want to donate. They said it's all worth it because the place is really beautiful. I will make sure to visit this when I get back to Hong Kong.

Helpful Tips:
  • Make sure to visit the temple as early as they open or late in the afternoon so you can enjoy the place. The temple is very popular and a lot of people from Mainland China visit the temple on a group tour. They usually go there in the middle of that day and it really gets really crowded.
  • Visit other nearby attractions in the area, such as the Nan Lian Garden and the Chi Lin Nunnery. The latter is not as popular as the Wong Tai Sin Temple but it is spectacular in its own way. It's also very peaceful and quiet which I like more than the Wong Tai Sin.
  • You can also do some shopping at the Plaza Hollywood or the Temple Mall when you're there.
  • Make sure to bring a bottle of water and a hat if not an umbrella because it's really hot in the temple. It gets really smoky too so need to be careful.
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