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Travel bucket list idea:
Wong Tai Sin Temple
Hong Kong, China|
Set against a backdrop of high-rises and swathed in incense smoke, this is one of Hong Kong’s largest Taoist temples.
Named after Wong Tai Sin (a mythical shepherd boy with the power of healing), devotees flock here at Lunar New Year, but it’s popular the rest of the year as well, mostly for the ranks of fortune-tellers lined up outside.
Behind the temple are some attractive gardens – a miniature copy of Beijing’s Summer Palace – with colourful pavilions, fish ponds and waterfalls.
The tradition of ‘kau cim’, or fortune telling, involves lighting incense sticks and making a wish before the main altar, before shaking a cylinder of fortune sticks until one stick falls to the ground.
Each stick is numbered and can be exchanged for a piece of paper representing one of a hundred ancient oracles. The piece of paper can then be taken to one of the temple fortune tellers who will interpret the oracle for you.
Getting there & doing it
To get to the temple take the MTR to Wong Tai Sin station and follow the signs.
When to do it
The temple is accessible all year round, seven days a week. The quietest time to visit is mid-week; at religious festivals and over the Christmas and New Year period is gets incredibly crowded – but it’s also at its most atmospheric.
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