Admire these holy sanctuaries in Chinatown, Little India and Telok Ayer with our guide on stunning Chinese temples in Singapore.
An excellent way to learn more about a country is to immerse yourself in indigenous cultural experiences like eating local cuisines or visiting places of worship. As our sunny island is composed of different ethnicities and religions, there are plenty of temples, mosques, churches and the like for you to explore. These are the Chinese temples in Singapore you have to visit and see.
Majestic Chinese temples in Singapore
1. Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery
Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery is considered one of the largest and most renowned monasteries in Southeast Asia. It’s a hub that’s dedicated to teaching everything you need to know about Buddhism. Travel back in time when you visit the Venerable Hong Choon Memorial Museum that traces the origins of Singapore Buddhism and how it arrived to Singapore. You can also opt to participate in meditation sessions and retreats if you’re looking for a little more zen in your life.
Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, 88 Bright Hill Road, Singapore 574117
2. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum
Dedicated to devotees of Maitreya Buddha, the temple preserves the tooth relics of Buddha. Apart from its grand Insta-worthy Tang Dynasty-inspired architecture, there are also paintings, statues and embroideries to admire. While you’re at it, check out its rooftop garden, library and bookstore, or vegetarian restaurant if you’re feeling peckish.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, 288 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058840
3. Pu Ji Si Buddhist Research Centre
This Chinese temple in Singapore doubles up as a place of worship and a research and education facility. You’ll find plenty of meditation rooms, a library, a rooftop garden and a wishing well on its grounds. Step into the main shrine and spot the white jade statue of Buddha. You can also contemplate the values of Buddhism on the second floor when you view the Thousand Sakyamuni Buddha images.
Pu Ji Si Buddhist Research Centre, 39 Lorong 12 Geylang, Singapore 399012
4. Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple
Built in 1884, this is one of the more famous temples in Singapore. It typically draws hordes of believers during Chinese New Year season who pray to Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, for blessings and good luck. Perhaps by doing so, you may win big during your mahjong sessions with friends!
Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, 178 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187964
5. Foo Hai Ch’an Monastery
This gorgeous monastery is home to several Buddhist statues and relics, including a 3.3m-tall statue of Buddha and a 9.9m-tall statue of Guanyin. Visit the bell gong tower that’s rung 108 times in the morning and evening, then head over to the five-storey pagoda that’s decorated with statues of Buddha. Next, stop by the sacred Bodhi tree, grown from a cutting of sapling from the original Unesco World Heritage Site Bodhi tree in India.
Foo Hai Ch’an Monastery, 87 Geylang East Avenue 2, Singapore 389753
6. Qi Tian Gong Temple
Familiar with the legendary Chinese folklore, Journey to the West? Qi Tian Gong temple is the first temple in Singapore built for worshipping the Monkey God, Sun Wu Kong. Here, you’ll find more than 10 Monkey God statues. The oldest is nearly 100 years old! Often visited by businessmen, this might just 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 Street, Singapore 169786
7. 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, its focal point is the 15-foot seated Buddha 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 Road, Singapore 218636
8. Hai Inn Temple
Hai Inn Temple was established for female devotees in 1928. It has one of the biggest temple bells in Singapore – 2.75 metres tall, 1.7 metres wide and weighs 7.4 tonnes. Searching for serenity and inner peace? Well, it offers meditation exercises during Buddhist class.
Hai Inn Temple, 33 Bricksland Road, Singapore 688254
9. Poh Tiong Beo Temple
History buffs will love this temple. Ask the friendly staff about its interesting long history! Apparently, it dates back to the Sung Dynasty of ancient China. It was a shrine in a coolie den for Tong An immigrants in the 1930s and has evolved into the sanctuary of worship it is today.
Poh Tiong Beo Temple, 201 Toa Payoh Lorong 6, Singapore 319385
10. Thian Hock Keng Temple
Established in 1842, Thian Hock Keng is one of the oldest Hokkien temples in Singapore. It’s usually frequented by followers of Mahayana Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Designed in the Southern Chinese temple architecture style, you’ll be surprised to learn that no nails were used in the building of this temple. Psst: it’s located on our favourite street, Telok Ayer, which is filled with countless cool cafes and restaurants!
Thian Hock Keng Temple, 158 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068613
11. Singapore Chee Tong Temple
Deviating from the traditional temple structure, this place of worship was built in 1987 with a contemporary architectural design. The pyramid-shaped structure was designed by well-known architect, Tay Kheng Soon. This temple is dedicated to three main deities: Huang Lao Xian Shi, Da Sheng Fo Zu and Tai Shang Lao Jun.
Singapore Chee Tong Temple, 62 Hougang Avenue 3, Singapore 538844
12. Ang Chee Sia Ong Temple
Otherwise known as Sacred Lord Green Dragon, this Chinese temple is established for followers of Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism and Confucianism. The bridge has a dragon on each side, connecting the temple across a canal to the nearby housing estate. Step on the right if you want to be blessed by the two dragons.
Ang Chee Sia Ong Temple, 131 West Coast Drive, Singapore 128014
13. 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. 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
14. Wei Tuo Fa Gong Temple
If you’re taking a day trip to Pulau Ubin, Singapore’s last authentic kampung village, stop by this Chinese temple. Surrounded by a scenic garden and pond, it was built in the 1950s and developed from a private residential place of worship. The temple has also taken in different gods like the Datuk Gong hillside spirits and Hindu gods, making it religiously diverse.
Wei Tuo Fa Gong Temple, 224J Jalan Endut Senin, Singapore 508346
Immerse yourself in rich culture when you visit these grand Chinese temples in Singapore.
[This article was originally published in 2022 and updated in 2024 by Ashe Liao.]