The oldest of all Man Mo Temple in Hong Kong, the Man Mo Central Temple in Hollywood Road is impressive as it was imposing. Overlooking line of houses and establishments towards the main streets of Sheung Wan in Hong Kong. The experience I had traversing alleyways and streets in Hong Kong, solo is refreshing and rewarding at the same time. I went to ask the locals for direction and they are very accommodating. I experienced to talked to a mother and her high school student son. The boy, apparently ignored me but when the mother saw that I am bringing a map and wanted to ask directions, she called her son and we converged on the sidewalk and they told me that I will go up a flight of stairs and the boy wittingly joked that it is the only 100 hundred stairs that I will see. Soon afterwards, we separated and I am ecstatic to see my first temple in Hong Kong, I crossed the street.
As I was searching for the Hollywood Road sign, I came across flight of stairs with many western backpackers converging at the landing. I cross the street again and there before me, is no less than 100 hundred steps but more and more steps higher unto it, piled like centuries have already signed its historic paths. I know millions have climbed these stairs to get to Man Mo Temple and I am counting myself lucky to be one of those and left my unnoticeable footprints. Climbing up is something I would repeatedly told myself a bad thing for obese like me. I have difficulty climbing up the flight of stairs and occasionally, I will hold onto the railings to keep me balance. All throughout the climb, I find myself in the midst of lovers walking the stairs, hand in hand, or perhaps students and their guardians going home. I am overwhelmed.
Right across the landing of the top stairs is the street sign Hollywood Road. I noticed that right before my eyes is the grand and famed Man Mo Temple, the oldest of its kind in Hong Kong. I have had been researching on this temple and this one is dedicated to the Chinese Gods of Learning and of War. I took photos of its exteriors and when I was aiming at the roof, I recalled my visit to a temple in Vietnam which has the same design architecturally. I collected myself from my awe-struck state and decided to look inside the temple. There were young Hong Kong volunteers who offered to tour around the temple for a minimal fee but I decided to walk through its sacred grounds solo and on my own.
Man Mo Temple was built in 1847 and it has enormous collections of antiques and its famed coil scented candles hang on the ceiling is something of a sight to behold. These coil incense are one of the best reflective instruments I have found inside the Man Mo Temple. I have said my prayers and take photographs on its interiors. As I was doing photography, I came across locals praying inside Man Mo Temple and I am happy to be in the company of the prayerful, even in Hong Kong.
The interior of Man Mo Temple is impressive with its serene state. You will hear the clanging bang of gongs and the smell the scent of the incense hanging above your head. I was never nauseous inside but relaxed. It is one of the best I have visited and by far, the most impressively maintained temple in Hong Kong.
After having done with my photography inside the Man Mo Temple, I came back to where I had been. I collected myself back again to tread back to where I am most fulfilled as a backpacker and that is: being able to find great treasures such as this to continually educate me of the world I am a visitor of. Man Mo Temple has benefitted so many Hong Kong locals and those whose lives were changed forever see it as a bastion of faith, trust and confidence. I am honoured to have been a part of this awesome historic temple.
How to get there?
– From any MTR subway station, go to Sheung Wan station and exit to A2. From there, walk to towards where the Cosco Tower is and from there, cross Jervois Street. Walk farther up the street and you will see the stairs that leads to Hollywood Road;
– Just across Hollywood Road is the famed Man Mo Temple;
– Wear a good walking shoes since you will be walking for approximately 15 minutes from the exit A2 of Sheung Wan station;
– Ask the locals, they are friendly and generous.