The Wong Tai Sin Temple claim to make every wish come true upon request might have something to do with its popularity. Home to three religions (Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism) its natural setting and beautifully ornamented buildings make it as much a scenic attraction as an important religious centre.Wong Tai Sin Temple can be regarded as typical or traditional Chinese style temple. Grand red pillars, blue friezes, multi-colored carvings, yellow latticework and the magnificent golden roof are admired not only by historians and architects, but also by visitors and worshippers.Covering 18,000 square metres and located in a tranquil natural setting remote from the nearby housing estates and the bustle of their streets, the temple is, apart from being an important religious centre, a scenic attraction full of beautifully ornamented traditional buildings. The major feature is the Main Altar where the portrait of Wong Tai Sin is hung. Here believers go to pray for divine guidance and good fortune. Another place of great significance is the Three Saints Hall, where the deities Lu Zu, Guan Yin and Guan Di are worshipped.
The temple commemorates the famous monk of yore, Wong Tai Sin (also known as Huang Chu-ping), who was born in the 4th century and became a deity at Heng Shan (Red Pine Hill). In 1915, Taoist priest Liang Ren-an carried a sacred portrait of Wong Tai Sin from Guangdong in southern China to Hong Kong. Now housing this precious portrait, the Wong Tai Sin Temple is where worshippers pray for good fortune through offerings, divine guidance and fortune telling.Feng Shui enthusiasts may notice structures representing the five geomantic elements: the Bronze Pavilion (metal); the Archives Hall (wood); the Yuk Yik Fountain (water); the Yue Heung Shrine (fire), where the Buddha of the Lighting Lamp is worshipped; and the Earth Wall (earth).
One of the main reasons that Wong Tai Sin Temple is the most visited and worshiped temple among all the Hong Kong Temples is because it is said that if you make a wish here, the chance that it will come true is very high. Fortune-telling is another main reason the temple is well-known. It is said that the accuracy of the fortune telling in this temple is very high and accurate. When you visit this temple, you will notice people light up worship sticks, kneeing in front of the altar, praying and making a wish and/or shaking a bamboo cylinder containing fortune sticks until one falls out (this procedure or ritual is known as “kau cim” literately means “Request a stick”). The worshiper will exchange the fortune stick for a piece of paper with a number on it. With this piece of paper the recipient will find one of the many soothsayers next to Wong Tai Sin Temple who will interpret the fortune for the worshiper. The whole procedure is quite interesting to watch and make you think about traditions, fate and the probability of the fortune-tellers predictions.
The probably best time to visit Wong Tai Sin Temple is around 9:00am in the morning or late in the afternoon during a weekday. Then most of the (Mainland Chinese) travel groups are gone and you have enough time and space to take a closer look at all the different halls and shrines. In addition, please note: The busiest and most crowdie days are on Chinese New Year’s Eve holidays, Wong Tai Sin’s birthday (23rd day of the 8th lunar month) and the days from January 1st to 15th. Unless you love to be in a crowd of thousands of people, we would recommend avoiding these days. In addition, we also would avoid the typical weekends due to the fact that Wong Tai Sin Temple can get pretty crowed on these days as well. To go there, take the MTR to the Wong Tai Sin Station. Leave the station through Exit B2 and walk directly towards Wong Tai Sin Temple. Traveling time from Tsim Sha Tsui is approx. 18-20 minutes and expect to pay around HK$ 10 (price may be change) for a single journey ticket.