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How to Know Hong Kong and Macau

Roberto Ignacio Diaz, Dominic Cheung, Ana Paulina Lee, Authors

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Tin Hau Temple Road

The Tin Hau Temple in Causeway Bay was originally built by the Tai family in 1787. The Tai family is of Hakka origin from Guangdong; according to legends, the family used to travel to Causeway Bay to gather grass and, at that time, discovered an incense burner found floating miraculously on the sea. This incident gave rise to one of the pre-colonial names for Hong Kong Island--Hung Heung Lo (Red Incense-burner island). 

Subsequently, they constructed a shelter for it and, as the shrine became popular with local boat people, a proper temple was erected in 1868. Despite renovations, the temple is still largely in its original form and remains under the management of the Tai family. The exterior is of typical Tin Hau design with two dragon statue figures on the top of the roof and many figure carvings in its walls; the temple is particularly famous for the finery of these embellishments. Inside, to the right and left of the main hall, are two wall murals--one depicting a dragon, the other a tiger, as well as two large god statues. Specifically, side altars are dedicated to Tsoi San, the God of Wealth. There are also side altars to Tin Hau and to the Goddess of Childbirth. Finally, there are shrines to the black-faced Pau Kung, the Lenient Judge of the Underworld.

Like the temple at Yau Ma Tei, the temple in Causeway Bay is nowhere near the shore. Rather, the site is in the center of an urban footpath and is only steps away from the MTR station. In recent years it has given its name to this particular station which bears the moniker "Tin Hau"; it is one of the stops on Hong Kong's Island line.

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