Hong Kong has some amazing temples hidden in plain sight. There are the touristy ones like Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road which allow photography but are smothered by coach after coach of tourists walking through their doors.
Alternatively, one can leave the tourists behind and head over to Tin Hau to visit a similarly spectacular, much more quiet and (as long as you respect people’s privacy) photography friendly Tin Hau Temple. I find temples here addictive as I attempt to capture ‘the moment’ within them. There are a number of Tin Hau temples in Hong Kong, but as far as I know, the one in Tin Hau is possibly one of the oldest remaining Tin Hau temples. It is hard to believe, but it once was on the edge of Hong Kong Harbour. Reclamation has left it in the heart of bustling Hong Kong Island with trams rolling past it every day.
I love walking through Chinese temples in Hong Kong. The sculpture and shapes hidden in the walls, on the roof and around the doorways can be not only breathtaking but simply captivating.
Everywhere you look in Tin Hau Temple there is something to catch the eye, or to focus your lens in on.
And then you have the incense. Coiled spirals slowly burn above you, the smoke hanging in the air.
Even outside the temple there is often an offering on the alter, the incense trailing in the breeze.
Regardless of your belief, this temple commands respect and offers a nice insight into Chinese traditions and culture. It’s also a great place to snap loads of photos without a clutter of people around, particularly if you are a novice photographer like me who wants to experiment with settings, angles and shapes.
How to get there:
Tin Hau Temple is on Tin Hau Temple Road, Tin Hau, Hong Kong Island. You can catch an MTR on the Blue line to Tin Hau MTR station. The Temple is only a couple of minutes walk away, or you can catch a tram; Trams going to and from North Point stop in Tin Hau near Tin Hau Temple Road. The temple is also close to many of the public bus routes that go through Tin Hau. Alternatively it is a short walk from Causeway Bay through Victoria Park.