If you’re looking to explore more of the history and culture that the city has to offer, then you need to check out these Buddhist temples in Hong Kong that feature stunning architecture and tranquil gardens
Sure, Hong Kong is a hedonist’s playground, serving up happy hours and fine dining 24/7, but there’s another side to life in the region too. If you are looking for a dose of culture or history and have already visited Hong Kong’s best museums, then you are definitely going to want to see these beautiful Buddhist temples in Hong Kong. From the giant Buddha on the island of Lantau to a place of worship for the Goddess of the Sea in bustling Causeway Bay, these sacred temples in Hong Kong showcase traditional Chinese architecture at its finest.
Chi Lin Nunnery
One of the most stunning locations when it comes to temples in Hong Kong, Chi Lin Nunnery is actually a large temple complex that is made up of a number of sacred wooden buildings. Located in Diamond Hill, the site was originally founded in 1934 as place of retreat for Buddhist nuns, but was rebuilt in the 90s following Tang Dynasty architectural guidelines.
The temple halls themselves feature statues of various bodhisattvas, Guanyin – the Goddess of Mercy and the Sakyamuni Buddha, each crafted from gold, clay, wood or stone. Chi Lin Nunnery complex also includes a library, a pagoda and gorgeous gardens filled with lotus ponds – making it the perfect little oasis in the middle of the city.
Read our full story on Chi Lin Nunnery here
Chi Lin Nunnery, 5 Chi Lin Drive, Diamond Hill, Kowloon, Hong Kong, p. 2354 1888, 九龍鑽石山志蓮道5號
Man Mo Temple
Perhaps the easiest temple to get to if you are running short on time in Hong Kong, the Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan was built between 1847 and 1862, and is a wonderful location to explore.
The temple was created for worship of the God of Literature – Man Cheong, and the God of Martial Arts – Mo Tai, and many scholars and students still stop off at the site when about to take exams. The largest of any Man Mo temple in Hong Kong, inside countless coils of incense burn overhead as worshippers find a quiet spot for contemplation.
Take a look inside Man Mo Temple through our neighbourhood guide to Sheung Wan.
Man Mo Temple, 124-126 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, p. 2540 0350, 香港島上環荷李活道124至126號
Po Lin Monastery Temple
Buddhist temples in Hong Kong don’t come any more impressive than this! A trip to Po Lin Monastery is an absolute must for those coming to Hong Kong. Get there by taking a cable car journey to the top of the Ngong Ping Plateau on Lantau Island, where you will find the largest sitting outdoor Buddha in the world!
The monastery itself was founded by visiting monks from the province of Jiangsu in 1906, and the main temple is home to three bronze statues of Buddha, each representing a different stage in his life: past, present and future. The surrounding landscape and gardens make it an excellent place for reflection, and you can even enjoy a meal at the vegetarian restaurant.
Po Lin Monastery, Ngong Ping, Hong Kong, p. 2985 5248, 大嶼山昂坪寶蓮禪寺
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery
Located in Sha Tin, Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is famed for the number of statues that line the pathway up to the complex itself. In fact, there are actually around 13,000 gold-painted Buddha statues – all in different poses and positions, to be found on the steps of the entrance to the temple.
Once you reach the top, visitors can take in the main temple hall along with a pagoda and an array of smaller shrines and pavilions that sit on the side of the hill. Inside the temple itself, even more statues of Buddha can be found lining the walls, while the outside gardens are quiet places to enjoy time away from the city.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, 221 Pai Tau Village, Sha Tin, New Territories, Hong Kong, 新界沙田排頭村221萬佛寺
Tin Hau Temple
One of many Tin Hau temples in Hong Kong, the Tin Hau Temple in Causeway Bay has a special history with the Goddess of the Sea for who it is devoted. The story goes that many years ago, the Tai clan came across a red stone shaped like an incense burner. Thinking that it was an offering from Tin Hau herself, they built a temporary shrine for the stone that became very popular and was eventually transformed into a full size temple.
The roof of the temple features a number of dragons and fish in honour of Tin Hau, and a ceramic figures tell stories from Chinese Operas. Guests at the temple can see a selection of historic relics inside the temple, including a bell from the 18th century, carved stone animals and an offering table filled with gifts from locals who visit on a daily basis.
Here’s where to eat in Causeway Bay
Tin Hau Temple, 10 Tin Hau Temple Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 香港島銅鑼灣天后廟道10號
Wong Tai Sin Temple
One of the most fascinating temples in Hong Kong, Wong Tai Sin Temple is actually home to three religions: Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. It commemorates a well-regarded monk – Wong Tai Sin – and features a portrait of the namesake inside the temple hall itself.
This temple is extremely popular among Hong Kong people as it claims that those who worship there will have all their wishes come true. The eye-catching exterior features a pair of bronze lions for protection and wealth, while inside, scriptures from all three religions can be found hanging on the walls.
Take a look at our guide to Wong Tai Sin
Wong Tai Sin Temple, 2 Chuk Yuen Village, Wong Tai Sin, Hong Kong, p. 2327 8141, 九龍黃大仙竹園村2號