Man Mo Temple

Take a break from a busy day in the heart of Hong Kong’s financial district to visit a peaceful temple, one of the city’s recognized historic landmark buildings.

Walk uphill from the financial towers in Hong Kong’s Sheung Wan district and you will find the hidden treasure of Man Mo Temple. You may smell it before you see it, since temple visitors hang large spirals of incense that may burn for three weeks rather than the typical short joss sticks. Follow your nose to the Hollywood Road building with its white walls and green tile roof, an unusual sight nestled between tall towers.

Man Mo is both Buddhist and Taoist. It is dedicated to two very different deities, the god of literature (Man) and the god of war or martial strength (Mo). Step inside the tall red door to look for large statues of the two gods. Man is green and carries a calligraphy brush while Mo is red and carries a sword.

Built in the mid-1800s, the complex includes two other buildings. Lit Shing Kung honors additional gods while Kung Sor was a historical meeting place for local people to resolve disputes using religious animal sacrifices. When parishioners wrote a promise on paper, dripped chicken blood on it and burned the paper, the promise was deemed more binding than decisions from the British court of law. While you can’t make the animal sacrifice in modern days, you may want to bring your partner here to see if the spiritual ambiance will help you resolve issues.

Man Mo Temple is on Hollywood Road, about a 15-minute walk from Sheung Wan MTR station. The temple is open daily, closing to the public in the early evening. Another recommended route to Man Mo Temple is via the tram to Victoria Peak and a walk downhill; it is just five minutes to the temple on Hollywood Road. After your temple visit, follow the stone stairs of Ladder Street back toward Sheung Wan, stopping at a variety of souvenir shops along the way, or walk southeast along Hollywood and the more upscale Soho shopping and dining area.

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