Sik sik yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple:
Wong Tai Sin temple is the busiest place in the city. It is covering nearly 18,000 square meters and is located in peaceful natural scenery distant from the nearby accommodation lands. The temple is an important religious centre. It also has a scenic magnetism and is full of beautifully decorated, long established traditional buildings.
The temple is built in commemoration of the famous priest of Yore Wong Tai Sin who was born around AD 328 and became a divine being at Heng Shan in his later life. In 1915, a priest, Liang Renan, brought a sacrosanct portrait of Wong Tai Sin from Guangdong in Southern China to Hong Kong. Thus the appropriate thing to do was to build this wonderful temple in honor of the priest who was valued through ages for his kindness. This temple was built in the tribute of the three known religions of the place; Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
Other important fittings include the Archives Hall, Bronze Pavilion, the Earthly Fountain, the Unicorn Hall where Confucius is worshipped, the Yue Hing Shrine where the Buddha of the Lighted Lamp is worshipped, and the lavishly colorful Good Wish Garden that is lavishly ornamented with many exotic examples of Chinoiserie.
Fortune-telling is a big attraction in the temple. The fortune sticks are very precise. Many people who visit the temple come to know their future. Generally, parishioners plead the fate of the same year. They light worship sticks, stoop before the major altar, make a wish, and shake a cane drum containing fortune sticks until one falls out. The stick is exchanged for a piece of paper bearing the same number, and the fortune-teller then interprets the fortune on the paper for the worshipper.
It is a place worth a visit for people interested in cultures.
Po Lin Monastery and the Big Buddha:
A place which was once a distant monastery hidden by green mountain landscape made it to the world map when the astonishing and unexpected the big Buddha statue (informally known as the Tian tan) was discovered from beneath the ground in 1993. It is a posture of Sitting 34 meters high and facing in the northern direction to look at the Chinese people, this royal bronze Buddha draws pilgrims from all over Asia.
The eyes, lips, predispose of the head and right hand, which is raised to convey a blessing to everyone. It is combining to bring an awe-inspiring profundity of nature and dignity to the massive Buddha which took nearly 12 years to complete. One has to climb the 268 steps for a closer look at this amazing statue, and to enjoy the sweeping mountain and sea views that can be seen from its base.
Opposite to the statue, is the the Po Lin Monastery, one of Hong Kong’s most significant Buddhist sanctums and has been called ‘the Buddhist World in the South’. Home to a devout monk, this monastery is rich with colorful exhibitions of Buddhist iconography and its enjoyable garden is lively with birdsong and flowery scents. You can also enlighten your taste at their well-liked and very popular vegetarian restaurant.
One of the biggest enduring privately owned parks in the city is perhaps also one of Hong Kong's best reserved secrets is the Dragon Garden. Currently the Chinese garden has an architectural plan from the Song, Qing and Ming Empire. It is beautifully decorated with a touch of Buddhist and Taoist rudiments. The Dragon Garden put together architectural bust of both the East and the West, it also slots in some Western elements into the architecture. Such as, the two colorful glass windows in the ancestral hall similar to a Catholic church. The oil paintings are also Western-influenced.
The land was purchased by a generous donor Lee Iu-cheung in 1940 who spent nearly 20 years designing and scheming the expansive eight-hectare extent of greenery. As a result of his hard work there is a beautiful, Chinese garden, complete with flamboyant pavilions, gigantic archways and water features decorated with meticulous stone sculptures. The garden is at present under the ownership of Lee's descendents who hope their private heaven can be appropriately restored and opened to the public. Until then, visits to the Dragon Garden are available through open days which are apprehended once in a month.
The Hong Kong Heritage Museum: The beautiful Hong Kong Heritage Museum is located southwest of Sha Tin settlement centre; this worthwhile museum possesses some rich everlasting collections.
The ground floor holds a book and gift shop, besides the wonderful Children’s Discovery Gallery with eight learning and play zones for the kids aged four to ten. It also has an Orientation Theatre, with a 12-minute opening video in English. The 1st floor contains the finest of the museum’s compilation. The New Territories Heritage Hall has mock-ups of traditional shops, a Hakka fishing village and scenes showing the history of the New Towns. The 2nd floor contains a new thematic gallery and the TT Tsui Gallery of the amazing Chinese Art. It also has an Aladdin’s cave of fine ceramics, pottery, bronze, jade, and furniture, lacquer ware and stone carvings.