Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tai Po's atmospheric Man Mo Temple looks like the kind of place seen in many a Hong Kong movie

 ...is one of the most incense-filled temples I know in Hong Kong

...and also is home to one of the most impressive 
Tai Sui (60 Year Cycle Gods) displays I've seen around

For a good part of the time that I've lived and worked in Hong Kong, I had to regularly commute between the part of the Big Lychee where I resided to Tai Po.  Since that would take up at least two hours of each day that I did this, I'm sure people can understand when I say that I'm so very glad that those days are now behind me.

At the same time though, this doesn't mean that I've been giving Tai Po a miss since!  For among other things, Tai Po Market MTR station is where the avid hiker can catch buses or -- more often, actaully -- green minibuses to (or from) a number of trail heads.  Also, it's where I get the green mini-bus to Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve.  In addition, nice bike paths can be found in the vicinity of Tai Po that can take one all the way up to Tai Mei Tuk and the Plover Cove Reservoir if one's so inclined or, alternatively, down south to Sha Tin, Tai Wai and Wu Kai Sha.   

In addition, there are area culinary attractions such as Yat Lok's hard-to-resist roast goose (which, ironically, I very rarely got to visit during my lunch breaks when I worked in Tai Po because my office was located too far away from the town center where the eatery is located).  And I've even indulged the inner train spotter in me and paid a visit to the Hong Kong Railway Museum housed in the old Tai Po Market Railway Station that's within easy walking distance from the present one. 

As for Tai Po's markets: these days, there's more than one of them.  I wouldn't go all the way up to Tai Po from, say, Hong Kong Island just for them.  But when coupled with, say, a visit to Fung Yuen, the Hong Kong Railway Station or Yat Lok, I actually think it's worth the trip -- and this especially when you also throw in a visit to the Man Mo Temple in Tai Po located in the vicinity of Tai Po's oldest and most picturesque market, and also a stone's throw away from the Hong Kong Railway Museum.

Built in 1891, around the same time as the nearby market established by a group of area villagers, this particular Man Mo Temple may not be as old as the more famous one over on Hollywood Road -- but I find it a good deal more atmospheric as a result of there being fewer tourists milling about the place and its location close to a genuine working market frequented and patronized by local folk.  And like the far more well known temple dedicated to the gods of war and literature over on Hong Kong Island, it's got its share of faithful devotees -- as can be seen by the numerous offerings, including coiled joss sticks, to be found within it.

As I often tell people: because I came to love Hong Kong by way of my love of Hong Kong cinema, I often find myself viewing Hong Kong not only through rose-colored lens but also in terms of X or Y place looking like it was like a movie set.  In the case of Tai Po's Man Mo Temple: I don't know whether filming ever took place within or around it but I so would not be surprised -- because, truly, my first thought when I saw it was that this place looked like it had popped out of a Hong Kong movie! ;b


Bill said...


I didn't know there was more than one Man Mo Temple until I read this entry. Judging by your photos, this temple must have a strong "atmospheric quality." For some reason, the HK film I thought of when looking at this blog is Johnnie To's masterpiece, Election.


Anonymous said...

Hi there,

There is actually another one on Lantau Island (https://goo.gl/maps/JXChE5wYYsw)


YTSL said...

Hi Bill --

There's indeed more than one Man Mo Temple in Hong Kong! To add to T's information about there being another Man Mo Temple in Lantau:-