While in Hong Kong, I wanted to visit one of the traditional temples and after reading numerous articles, chose Man Mo. The temple’s located on Hollywood Road, in the Sheung Wan district of Hong Kong Island and is easy to get to by public transport or taxi. Hollywood road is home to numerous art galleries and antique shops and is a great place to spend some time browsing for hidden treasures.

The temple was built in 1847 and is the largest Man Mo temple in Hong Kong. It’s the oldest and most well know Taoist temple in Hong Kong and was built in 1847. The Temple is dedicated primarily to the two gods from which it takes its name – Man Cheong, the god of literature, and Mo Tai the god of war.

Incense coils in Man Mo temple

Man Cheong was traditionally worshipped in Imperial China by scholars hoping to pass the civil examinations for entry into Ming and Qing Dynasty officialdom. Mo Tai is worshipped in some instances as a slayer of demons. He is also sometimes worshipped as a god of wealth since he is believed to bless and protect businesses from ill fortune. As a military general faithful to his warlord master and loyal to his men, he is seen as an upholder of the code of brotherhood, honour and righteousness.

Lanterns in Man Mo temple

Hanging in giant, yellow coils from the ceiling of the main hall, incense burns to feed the gods. The coils are bought by worshippers seeking benevolence and can burn for weeks at a time, the smoke is supposed to carry worshippers’ prayers to heaven.

As the incense burns, it creates huge clouds of smoke which can be highlighted by the rays of sun coming in from the central courtyard.

Incense coils overhead

As well as the main temple building, there are two smaller buildings next to it, each separated by a narrow alley, which makes the temple a three building complex. Lit Shing Temple is to the left of the main Man Mo temple and is the middle structure of the three, while the Kung Sor building is on the right-hand side when looking at the temple from the front.

It’s nice to spend time in the temple, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Incense being sold in the temple