Today, in this post – Things To Do in Hong Kong – Man Mo Temple – A Magical Sight! – I would like to share with you this out of the world experience. If you have time in Hong Kong to visit only one temple, this must be the one!
It was around 3pm. I had quickly stowed my luggage in my room at Butterfly on Morrison Boutique Hotel. After a quick organization of things to bring with me, I made my way to Causeway Bay MTR Station. From there, I would go to Central Station, then take the Mid-Level Escalators to Hollywood Road where Man Mo Temple was located.
I was thrilled to be back in Hong Kong. It had been years since I was here. And this time round, I have done lots of research, and was better prepared to enjoy all the great food and soak in all the awesome sights!
One of which is the famous Man Mo Temple. I truly enjoyed my time here. Keep reading as I share more about my magical experience here. Enjoy watching the video and the photos, too.
Man Mo Temple Review
When you only have time to visit one temple in Hong Kong, then Man Mo Temple is the choice. From the urban world outside, step into this preserved monument for a magical experience!
Things To Do in Hong Kong – Man Mo Temple – A Magical Sight! – The Video
In this video, you get to see the temple viewed from the street, the area outside the temple, and the mystical interior of the temple. Inside the temple, there is an awesome area in the center with beautiful lanterns and large incense coils hanging from the ceiling.
Plus, you get to see the dramatic artwork, the altar, the drum and bell, the images of the gods, and more. Watch the video now!
About Man Mo Temple
Man Mo Temple was built in 1847, and is one of the oldest temples in Hong Kong. It is also the largest Man Mo Temple in this city.
At this temple, many locals (and even tourists) pay their respects to the God of Literature (also known in Cantonese as Man – pronounced Mun) and the God of War (also known in Cantonese as Mo).
From the ancient days till today, they pray for success in studies. This practice started in the days of Imperial China where scholars prayed for success in civil examinations. Their wish was to get appointed the best administrative positions in the state.
Man Mo Temple is actually part of a complex. There are three adjacent blocks in this complex. And each house the following respectively – Man Mo Temple, Lit Shing Temple and Kung So. The main building is where Man Mo Temple resides.
Today, the place of worship is managed by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. It has been given the title of Grade 1 historic building. And it is now preserved and declared a monument.
Outside Man Mo Temple
From Hollywood Road, I walked into the courtyard of the premises. It was Chinese New Year period, and there was a display with pretty blossoms. You can see a bit of it at the left side of the photo below.
As you can see from above, there is a gate where people walk from the courtyard, and into the temple. The large sign has the name – Man Mo Temple – in Chinese.
Before you walk into the temple, do take note of the signs on the gate. These are some house rules to follow as well as some words of caution for your safety.
Travel Tip: Please be respectful and follow the house rules
Additional Travel Tip: You are allowed to take photos and video but not with the flash
Inside Man Mo Temple
At The Main Door
Once past the main door of the temple, you will see these beautiful panels and pillars (photo below). The artwork and pillars are painted in red and gold, with Chinese words written on them. Look at the intricate details. I am always so impressed with such exquisite craftsmanship.
Travel Tip: The original design of Man Mo Temple is completely preserved. This makes the architecture ancient and authentic.
Further in, there are these decorative altars. They look like altars for the gods when they are carried outside for religious processions. Again, the details are so intricate and delicate.
Lanterns And Coils of Incense
At the center of the temple is an area where there are gorgeous lanterns. The lanterns fill the space with so much light. The red paper hanging from each lantern is the name of a devotee who paid for it. This is to bless the person.
Above the lanterns are large incense coils that are burning. Just like the lanterns, there is a red paper hanging from the incense with the name of the person who paid for it.
The incense are continually burning. As the incense burns, the smoke carries the prayer of the person to the heavens.
Travel Tip: Please take precaution if you are sensitive to smoke
You can see more of all this in the video above. If you have not watched it, I highly recommend that you do.
Along a side of the temple, there is a counter where prayer items are sold. Here, people can buy individual items such as candles, incense, paper money, etc. Or they can purchase a prayer set that is specially prepared for them. You can see rolls of these sets in the image below.
Even further in, just after the center space filled with lanterns and coils of incense, there is an area for people to do their prayers. It is here where the prayer items like candles are lit, and incense are burned and placed in incense holders.
Altar of the God of Literature and God of War
I ventured further in, and I discovered that we can get even closer to the altar where the God of Literature and God of War are at. There is an pretty cool small sculpture of a hand holding a pen brush. This is the tool held by the God of Literature.
And just behind the pen brush are the God of Literature and God of War. I really like this photo. And I find the images of the gods and the altar so fascinating. Do you?
The God of Literature is the one on the left. He is often depicted as holding a writing brush. The God of War is the one on the right, and wields a sword.
Drum and Bell
Here are a couple of popular artifacts – the Drum and the Bell. Devotees are seen to say a prayer, and then strike the bell followed by hitting the drum. You can see them doing that in the video above.
Man Mo Temple – Asia Travel Gems Final Word
Asia Travel Gems Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
In an urban setting that is the bustling downtown area, you see this building that looks ordinary. But the moment you step inside the temple, it is like you are transported to another world.
The scents of the incense, the bright and vibrant colors of the decor, the stunning lanterns, the coils of incense that seem to go on forever into the ceiling, and everything else – truly makes this a very unique and awesome experience.
My advice – Yes! Do make time to visit Man Mo Temple. It is truly worth your time.
Where is Man Mo Temple?
Man Mo Temple is located along Hollywood Road. This is a famous and popular road that runs along the width of Central of Hong Kong Island. You can’t miss it. Also, refer to the map below to locate it easily.
Man Mo Temple opens from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm every day. Do note the timings as they strictly close at 6.00 pm.
Travel Tip: Allocate at least one hour to explore this awesome place
124 – 126 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island
Telephone: +852 2540 0350
How to Get to Man Mo Temple?
You can get to Man Mo Temple from Central Station or Sheung Wan Station. It all depends on which direction you are coming from. If you are traveling from Kowloon, then it is better to stop at Central Station.
At Central Station, go to Exit D2. From this exit, turn right to go to Theatre Lane. Then walk along Queen’s Road Central towards The Center. At The Center, walk towards the Central Mid-Levels Escalator, and take the escalator to Hollywood Road. Then walk along Hollywood Road towards the direction of the temple (see the map above).
Alternatively, if you find yourself nearer to Sheung Wan, then go to the Sheung Wan MTR Station. Take Exit A2, and walk along Hillier Street to Queen’s Road Central. Go up to Ladder Street that is next to Lok Ku Road, and then to Hollywood Road. Again, once you are at Hollywood Road, refer to the map above to find the way to Man Mo Temple.
Bus 26 is the bus that takes you closest to Man Mo Temple. Take this bus from outside Pacific Place at Admiralty to Hollywood Road. Alight at the stop nearest to Man Mo Temple. If you are unsure, ask the bus driver for help.
Taxis are easy to catch in Hong Kong. You can get one to bring you direct to Man Mo Temple. For more information about Taxis and Grab, go to my page about Hong Kong.
When I was in Hong Kong, I found that I walked almost everywhere. That is, everywhere that is near from one place to another. So, if you happen to be near Man Mo Temple, use the map above to get your bearings and walk over there.
Or if you are staying at a hotel nearby, why not walk over and explore this amazing magical place?
We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.
If you have ANY questions about this post – Things to Do in Hong Kong – Man Mo Temple, or Hong Kong, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.
Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.
Hey everyone, I am Timotheus. When I am not giving lectures, I love traveling and visiting cities and towns all over Asia. It is a thrill for me to find and share awesome places to see, great tasting food to eat, and restful rooms to get a good night’s sleep.
10 Replies to “Things To Do in Hong Kong – Man Mo Temple – A Magical Sight!”
Hong Kong seems like such a wonderful place to visit. I love learning about different cultures and appreciate the details that you provided on the Man Mo Temple and with watching the video it almost seems like I am able to visit the Temple; however, I am sure it is more stunning in person. If I do ever make it to Hong Kong I will definitely visit this Temple.
Hong Kong is truly awesome, Dena! There is so much to see and experience.
I am very happy to know that the photos and video helped you see what the place is like. And yes, being there in person is a much more deeper and wondrous experience. I truly hope you get to visit Hong Kong soon. And this temple too. When you do, please come back and share your experience. 🙂
Really appreciate this post, the fact that you visited this place and took pictures and the video. As i was going through the post, pictures and video, it seems as if you are providing a complete tour of this temple.
I am surprised it is right in the middle of hustling city. Hong Kong is a part of my travel plan, will definitely visit Man mo temple. Many thanks for sharing this post.
Hi Satish. Thanks for visiting and enjoying this post. Yes, I do my best to give as complete a tour of any place I visit as I can. And I am very happy you see that.
This temple is truly awesome. I am so happy to hear that you plan to visit Hong Kong. Please do subscribe to my travel blog. I am going to update more about Hong Kong in the coming days.
Great article and I am stimulated to actually go and do a bit of “flash packing” and finally see Hong Kong.
What is the air quality like this time of year as just now it is horrible in Chiang Mai just now due to all the burning of crops by local farmers and I do want a bit of a “breather”
Is it pretty clean (air wise) just now?
Hi Derek. Oh I hope you do flash pack and get to see Hong Kong soon. The city is truly awesome! And when you do, please do come back and share your experiences.
Sorry to hear about Chiang Mai. I was thinking of visiting this city. Now that I hear this, I am hesitant.
The air quality in Hong Kong is generally average with a few times in the year that is not so good. But that is usually during the winter period. So, if you prefer better air quality, then visit during the other seasons. Right now, the air quality is all right. 🙂
I never imagined there was so much to experience in Hong Kong before reading your article, I found many of the places interest me to experience in the future.
Would a two week vacation in Hong Kong be enough time to visit most of these places in your article?
Thanks Jeff! Yes, there is so much to experience in Hong Kong. I have many more sights and eating places to share soon.
A two week vacation can definitely be enough time to see most of the major attractions and experience all the great food in Hong Kong. At the same time, it also depends on how much time you would like to spend at each place. Also, how fast you move about.
I met an American young man at one of the eating places – Kam Kee Cafe. He was in Hong Kong for a week. And he correctly said that he has seen a lot in that one week. But Hong Kong has so much to offer that he must visit again to see more. And I am sure you will feel the same when you visit Hong Kong, Jeff. 🙂
Your post is especially relevant because today I watched with most of the world in sadness as the Notre Dame Cathedral burned. It reminded me of the importance of celebrating and preserving our great cultural institutions around the world. I am so glad that people are still enjoying going to cultural wonders such as the Man Mo Temple. You did and excellent job of making us feel that we were experiencing the the majesty of the Man Mo Temple with you. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Thabo. Yes, the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral is sad.
I am so glad I made this post. You are right. At this time, this post about Man Mo Temple is a reminder for people to treasure the past. I am so glad the Hong Kong government made efforts to preserve this awesome temple. Everything here is from the original architecture.
And thank you for your kind praise and compliments on my efforts. I will strive to make every post better and better. 🙂