A few weeks after returning from a visitor scholar attachment to Florida State University, the professor I was working with reciprocated with a visit to Hong Kong with his daughter. Being the local, I was happy to suggest the good old tourist attractions that are the must TODO list for most people coming in to Hong Kong. When I was asked about visiting a temple that would be representative of Hong Kong culture, I suggested Wong Tai Sin or the Nan Lian Gardens in Diamond Hill since they were close to the university with perhaps Che Kung in mind. But, to my surprise, a Hong Kong professor suggested taking us to a temple I have never been to before, close to his ‘home-town’, his neighborhood in north-western new territories of Hong Kong. It was a brilliant unexpected surprise, perhaps the most interesting temple I’ve been to in Hong Kong – the Yuen Yuen Institute.
Perhaps the most unique and fascinating aspect of this Institute is that it’s dedicated to all three eastern religions together. You can expect to see Confucius (Confucianism), sitting next to Buddha (Buddhism) and Lao-Zi (Daoism).
The Discover Hong Kong websites introduces :
Visiting an institute of any kind might not sound like the top item on any holidaymaker’s ‘to-do list’, but a trip to the tranquil grounds of the misleadingly named Yuen Yuen Institute will be a pleasant surprise.
Located in scenic Sam Dip Tam, the Yuen Yuen Institute was founded in 1950 to spread the principles of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism; uphold the eight virtues (filial piety, respect, loyalty, fidelity, propriety, justice, honesty and honour) and promote social welfare.
Its sprawling grounds are a smorgasbord of temples, pavilions, monasteries and prayer halls dedicated to these three religions, and are dotted with decorative gardens and ponds. One of its many worthwhile attractions includes a replica of Beijing’s magnificent Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan). The Hall of Rocks Collection features rocks with interesting natural shapes, including those of the 12 creatures of the Chinese zodiac.
Let’s take a walk…
To get there :
MTR Tsuen Wan Station Exit B1, walk for five minutes to Shiu Wo Street and take minibus 81 to Yuen Yuen Institute.
Location of Yuen Yuen:
Not too far away is the Buddhist Western Monastery, which is a bit more laid back…
More on these sites :