Man Ma Temple (Sheung Wan)

Incense coils in the Man Ma Temple - Hong Kong.

The mysterious and engagingly named Man Ma Temple located on the also equally engagingly named Hollywood Road is a wonderful place to visit. Only in Hong Kong could two so diversely named places coexist. That is part of the appeal of Hong Kong (to me at least), Eastern culture meets Western influence and the result is an eclectic mix of old and new, modern and ancient, oriental and caucasian.

We headed towards the Sheung Wan district that is just west of Central eager to see for ourselves the much photographed little temple that had been built way back in 1847 and dedicated to the civil god Man Cheong and the martial god Kwan Ti. Originally the temple would have been on the shoreline of the island, but now you need to navigate a complex maze of roads from the MTR station to find it among the urban sprawl of modern day Hong Kong.

After trekking up several flights of steep steps, and then back down, and then back up again we eventually stumbled upon the small temple. It was hidden behind a mass of bamboo scaffolding billowing out clouds of incense smoke. The ritual burning of many prayer sheets and various incense coils within the temple creates this constant stream of sweet smoke, the scene created was just as I had imagined it would be.

Carefully crossing the road we entered over the threshold into the sacred realm of the temple and soaked up the heavy smoke laden atmosphere within. Although photography is really forbidden in most areas of the temple complex I was still able to hopefully capture some of the unique essence of the place with some shots.

Smokey interior of the Man Ma Temple - Hong Kong.

If you get the chance please do take some time out to make a trip to this small, but very important temple set in the midst of the urban chaos that is Hong Kong, you will not be disappointed, that I promise you.

Situated at the corner of Hollywood Rd. & Ladder St, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.
Check out more photos of our amazing trip to Hong Kong over at: http://www.fluidr.com/photos/jameshandlon/sets
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