Chinese New Year festive season or not, you’ll have to check out these holy sanctuaries in Chinatown, Little India, Telok Ayer and more!
An excellent way to discover and learn more about a country is to immerse in indigenous cultural experiences like eating local cuisines or even visiting its places of worship. As Singapore is composed of different ethnicities and religions, there are plenty of temples, mosques, churches and the likes on our sunny island for you to explore. Lucky you, ’cause here’s our round up of eight Chinese temples in Singapore that you’ll have to visit and see.
Ang Chee Sia Ong Temple
Otherwise known as Sacred Lord Green Dragon, this temple is established for followers of Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism and Confucianism. Also, there’s a bridge with a dragon on each side, connecting the temple across a canal to nearby housing estate. Do step on the right if you want to be blessed by the two dragons.
Ang Chee Sia Ong Temple, 131 W Coast Drive, Singapore 128014, p. 6775 8092.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum
Dedicated to devotees of Maitreya Buddha, the temple preserves the tooth relics of Buddha. On top of its Instaworthy Tang Dynasty-inspired architecture, there are also paintings, statues and embroideries to admire. While you’re at it, check out its rooftop garden, library, bookstore and vegetarian restaurant if you’re feeling peckish.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, 288 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058840, p. 6220 0220.
Hai Inn Temple
Founded in 1928, Hai Inn Temple was established for female devotees. This temple has one of the biggest temple bells in Singapore – 2.75 metres tall, 1.7 metres wide and weighs 7.4 tonnes. Searching for some serenity and inner peace? Well, they’ve meditation exercises during Buddhist class.
Hai Inn Temple, 33 Bricksland Road, Singapore 688254, p. 6769 1515.
Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple
Built in 1884, Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple is one of the more renowned temples in Singapore. This temple typically draws hordes of believers during Chinese New Year season, praying to Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy, for blessings and good luck. Perhaps by doing so, you may win more during your mahjong sessions with friends. Huat ah!
Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, 178 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187964, p. 6337 3965.
Poh Tiong Beo Temple
History buffs might simply love this temple. Do ask the friendly staff at the temple about its interesting long history – apparently, it dates back to the Sung Dynasty of ancient China from being a shrine in a coolie den for Tong An immigrants in the 1930s to the sanctuary of worship that it has become today.
Poh Tiong Beo Temple, 201 Toa Payoh Lorong 6 Singapore 319385, p. 6356 1207.
Qi Tian Gong Temple
Familiar with the legendary Chinese folklore – Journey to the West? Qi Tian Gong temple is the first ever temple in Singapore built for worshipping the Monkey God, Sun Wu Kong. Here, you’ll find more than 10 Monkey God statues; the oldest one is nearly one hundred years old. Often visited by businessmen, this might probably be the place for budding entrepreneurs to discover and earn their ticket to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Qi Tian Gong Temple, 44 Eng Hoon St, Singapore 169786 p. 6220 2469.
Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple
Tourists from all over the world commonly visit this temple in Little India. Otherwise known as the Temple of Thousand Lights, the focal point of the temple is the 15-foot seated Buddha that is surrounded by numerous lightbulbs. There’s also a statue of the sleeping Buddha in a room below the main temple hall.
Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple, 366 Race Course Rd, Singapore 218636, p. 6294 0714.
Singapore Chee Tong Temple
Deviating away from the traditional temple structure, this temple was built in 1987 with a contemporary architectural design – a pyramid-shaped structure, designed by well-known architect, Mr Tay Kheng Soon. This temple is mainly dedicated to three main deities, Huang Lao Xian Shi, Da Sheng Fo Zu and Tai Shang Lao Jun.
Singapore Chee Tong Temple, 62 Hougang Ave 3, Singapore 538844, p. 6283 3867.
Thian Hock Keng Temple
Established in 1842, Thian Hock Keng is one of the oldest Hokkien temples in Singapore and is usually frequented by followers of Mahayana Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Having the Southern Chinese temple architecture style, you’ll be surprised that no nails were used when building this temple. Also, it is located on our favourite street, Telok Ayer Street – just a few steps away from our office.
Thian Hock Keng Temple, 158 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068613, p. 6423 4616.
Yueh Hai Ching Temple
This UNESCO heritage site is also known as The Love Temple. Built by sailors and traders from China in the 1820s, worshippers pray to the moon deity, Yue Lao, to seek advice on relationship matters within this religious site. Want your nosey relatives to stop hounding you on your non-existent love life? This place might help!
Yueh Hai Ching Temple, 30B Phillip Street, Singapore 048696, p.65366851.