Wong Tai Sin Temple

Wong Tai Sin is Hong Kong's most famous temple which is also called Sik Sik Yuen temple after the organization that controls it. Founded in 1921 by Leung Renyan, it is a Taoist temple but is mixed also with Buddhism and Confucianism. Its name is dedicated to a man named Wong Chuping, who started studying Taoism at 15 and is said to have reached enlightenment and became immortal at 55. He then became know as Wong Tai Sin, a merciful and powerful being who is believed to be able to grant any wish asked of him.

Many people make a pilgrimage to the temple for this reason, to pray and makes requests to him and to visit one of the many famed fortune tellers there. This involves the practice of Kau Cim, when incense sticks are burnt and fortune sticks are obtained from shaking a bamboo tube. These sticks are swapped for their corresponding papers with fortunes written on, which in turn are interpreted by one of the fortune tellers.

The traditional Chinese architecture temple is made up of several buildings and rooms including the Three Saints Hall, the Archives Hall, the men-only Bronze pavilion, the Yue Hing Shrine where Buddha is worshipped and a hall dedicated to Confucius. Other popular attractions are three memorial archways, the Nine Dragon Wall and the Good Wish Garden which is a nice place to relax and is styled after the Summer Palace in Beijing.