Tin Hau Temple at Joss House Bay is the oldest and largest Tin Hau Temple in Hong Kong, built in 1266.
There are many Tin Hau Temples in Hong Kong because Hong Kong was originally a fishing village, and Tin Hau is the patron saint of the fishermen.
Who is Tin Hau? She is the Goddess of the Sea or Queen of Heaven. She was taught by a Taoist priest at 13 to predict the future and help those who were sick and weak. Legends had it that she travelled about the sea on a raft made of reed to save people from drowning in the sea. Hence, she was revered as the ‘Goddess for safety in the sea‘.
How We Got There: We boarded the private ferry at Shau Kei Wan Typhoon Shelter (Exit A from Sai Wan Ho MTR, then walked to the Grand Promenande). The boat service is a round-trip service between Shau Kei Wan and Tung Lung Chau, only available during Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. We had made a separate alternative arrangement with the boat company for a drop-off and pick-up at Joss House Bay. (Handy info: firstname.lastname@example.org; call +852 2337 6568 or call the captain directly: +852 5114 676)
Shau Kei Wan Typhoon Shelter
Leaving the metropolis
Tung Lung Chau has 2 drop-off points on the island: Nam Tong Pier and Fat Tong Mun Pier
Fisheries in Tung Lung Chau
Tung Lung Chau is a pristine unspoilt island east of Hong Kong with beautiful scenery. It has an area of 2.42 sq km with only 100 inhabitants. As we travelled on the boat, we could see waves crashing into the rocks, steep cliffs and evergreen vegetation on rolling hills, which makes a very secluded place for camping hideaway.
Hen Hill, Tung Lung Chau
Beacon at the northern most tip of Tung Lung Chau
We arrived at Tin Hau Temple, Joss House Bay which is opposite to Tung Lung Chau after about 45minutes.
While not a fengshui expert, I can tell that Tin Hau Temple sits on a good fengshui spot at the foothills of the peaks. (Shall I also divulge that I was taught geomancy in uni by an Australian lady? How’s that for learning ‘sha chi‘ and ‘chi‘, from a foreigner? 😛)
Great Feng Shui spot: Tin Hau Temple
Why was the Temple built? Historical records noted that the Temple was built by 2 brothers from Fujian Province in the salt trading business. Whilst at sea one day, they were hit by strong winds and were swept from their boat. Struggling in the sea and desperate, they shouted to Tin Hau for help. They later drifted safety ashore to Joss House Bay. From then on, they built a temple in honour of Her.
Hong Kong’s biggest and oldest Tin Hau Temple, built 1266. Also called ‘the Big Temple’
External worship altar
Incinerator for burning offerings to Tin Hau
A second, smaller incinerator
Let’s take a tour inside the temple…
Main Entrance to the Temple
Elaborately craved Tin Hau’s vessel in front of the Main Portico
Hanging coiled incense
A model of Tin Hau’s boat which is taken out for procession every year
I didn’t take pictures of the Gods and Goddesses out of respect. I believe that they should have their privacy and moreover, it’s disrespectful to delete their pictures or misplace them… 😇
Interesting stuffs inside the temple: Joss sticks, incense sticks, cocks, wind mills… everything auspicious!
I made a donation to the temple and prayed for good health for my family
I wonder why the cocks are considered auspicious 😏
Wind mills for Good Luck
Offerings to the Goddess
Ahem… I did take a picture of the Laughing Buddha…His altar is outside of the Main Temple, in the enclosure to the right. I certainly hope He’s OK with it!😊
Matreya Buddha (Laughing Buddha): Located on the left side hall
The temple also houses Lady Golden Flower (Patron of Pregnant Women) where pregnant women or women who want to fall pregnant comes worship.
Lady Golden Flower (Patron of Pregnant Women)
Guardians of the Temple
Architectural motifs made from Shiwan porcelains (Shiwan is now an extinct art)
Lunch was a seafood fest at Po Toi O village. The restaurant was a very basic timber structure but it was packed with people, speaking volume of its food!
View from the restaurant
One of the biggest fish ever! 😛
Dried seafood for sell
It was a perfect summer day out, away from the scorching heat and humidity in the city!
Contrast between fishing village and high-rises
Alternate way to get there on weekdays: MTR Po Lam Station Exit A, take the green minibus route 16 (Po Lam to Po Toi O), get off at the Clearwater Bay golf & Country Club, walk for about 10 minutes down the steps nearby.