Since I have first travelled to Vietnam in December 2011 and met Lady Thien Hau , I am enamoured to search farther north, in many coastal states surrounding China for it is believed that devotion to the Goddess Mazu is widely practiced. Choosing to explore Hong Kong’s many temples than spending a day in Ocean Park Hong Kong, I have plotted to see the great 18th century Tin Hau Temple in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Armed with determination, optimism and excitement, I took the MTR subway to reach where my foot historically felt heavenly and true, I felt heavenly at Tin Hau Temple Hong Kong.
I felt warmth and serenity on my visit to Tin Hau Temple Hong Kong because I have been given free access for photography and was lucky not too many locals or tourists visiting that day, I absorbed as I click at every angle. I have been fascinated by the devotion they all have for the Goddess Tin Hau who is considered to be the Goddess who protects fishermen at sea and sailors. I have been asking myself that since the Philippines is a coastal state, endowed with fishing villages and is manned by great sailors who navigated the world, is it possible that a temple dedicated to the Goddess be found in Manila or other places too?
Like a student trying to piece every puzzle in the history map, I piece together vignettes of what I saw in Saigon when I first visited the Goddess Thien Hau and to my visit to her temple, in Hong Kong. As I have observed, both have the same architectural wonder and design. They both are low structure temple. Nothing fanciful except their ornate carvings or porcelains and great Chinese tradition but I found peace and serenity at the Tin Hau Temple. The Tin Hau Temple is declared monument in Hong Kong under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance.
The greatest I have seen in my life are pieced together within the span of six months interval. I prayed at the Goddess Thien Hau in Vietnam in December while I also prayed at her at Tin Hau Temple in Hong Kong in June. Just as I was offering my peace, I smelled the sweet incense hanging from the ceiling and humility enveloped me. I have fond peace that in life, one gains more by seeing more and feeling more. Had I chosen to stay at where I am prior to my visit to Tin Hau, I would have missed an opportunity to see through what matters to me the most.
True as it was indeed a rare invitation for reflection, I have found that my peace abides in me on my travels so long as I follow where my heart leads me and my feet tarry as I reflect each time I leave any temple in peace, serenity and hope.
How to get there:
- From any destination in Hong Kong, board the MTR train and go to Tin Hau Station Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.
- From the station, follow the exit leading to either A1 or A2 and proceed to Tung Lo Wan Road;
- From Tung Lo Wan Road, turn left from Starbucks Cafe which is found at the corner and Tin Hau Temple Hong Kong is seen gracefully seated on the slope.
- Come to the Tin Hau Temple Hong Kong on times near lunch-time, not too many people visit the temple. With that, you will have it for yourself to appreciate and reflect.
- Wear appropriately and be modest in your attire;
- Buy incense candle and pray.
- There is a slow moving waters as you approach (through flight of stairs) towards Tin Hau Temple, seat by the ledge of the concrete and under the shade of trees, reflect as the scent of the incense mixes with the cool air of Hong Kong: Priceless!