This Tin Hau Temple in Joss House Bay - 大廟灣 天后廟 , HK is the fourth of my Powerpoint series on Chinese architecture. The others were the Forbidden City - Beijing , Cheng Hoon Teng – Chinese temple in Malacca and the Nan Lian Garden – Diamond Hill Hong Kong.
This temple is unfamiliar to most who live in Hong Kong. This is because of temple is situated at a very remote location, in Hong Kong. There were no village around. In the past you can only go to the temple by boat but in recent years a new road was built near the temple, linking it to the Clear Water Bay.
The most interesting thing about this temple is that it has a very long history, some 800 year old much longer than the present building. Personally I know the temple very well. I went there every year when I was a kid, on the Tin Hau festival. It was not so much for the religious pilgrimage but as a day in the country having a picnic on the hills with family and friends. The Chinese attitude toward religion is much more pragmatic than dogmatic, at least as far as the general population is concerned. It has more to do with rituals than beliefs. To me the temple is a testament to the developing maritime trade in China during the Song Dynasty some 1000 years ago, when the Silk Road was cut off from China. Many of the maritime trades then were inter-provincial trades rather than the overseas trades.