Bustling Hong Kong epitomizes everything we love about traveling in Asia. Food, temples, festivals, great views, cool markets, and food. Did I mention that already? Our last visit to Hong Kong we did something a little different. We made our way to the Wishing Tree Temple to try our luck. This is how it went.
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What Is the Wishing Tree Temple?
Hong Kong is full of temples, Chinese temples, Hindu temples, Buddhist temples. It sports temples with big Buddhas, huge wooden statues, decorative roofs, and lots of incense, but my favorite temples are those that are a little different, like the Wishing Tree Temple or Tin Hau.
Even though the temple was built to honor Tin Hau, the Sea goddess, nowadays people go to make wishes. For hundreds of years, people would throw joss paper (good luck paper) up into the trees to help make their wishes come true.
It was understood that the higher your paper landed, you would have a better chance of your wish coming true. So nowadays they provide two oranges to help weight your wish and let it soar into the top branches.
Our Jaunt to Tin Hau Temple
The Tin Hau Temple in Lam Tsuen takes a little effort to get there, but we found the bus, and it dropped us off right outside the grounds. As you enter, you go to a sales booth and find a lady, like the one pictured, to sell you some wishing paper.
Make A Wish
You write your wish, tie the paper to an orange and take your little wishing contraption with you to one of two trees. Actually, when we were there, one tree needed to be cleaned of all the wishes, so we only could use one of the trees.
Both trees had metal supports holding up the branches as the wishes add so much weight to the tree, and now there are additional man-made trees as well that you can throw your wish into, hoping to extend the lives of the wishing trees.
Throw Your Wish High As You Can
Arriving at your tree, you wind up and let go, throwing your orange as high in the air as possible, hoping that the string will wind up over a branch. Tin Hau, is the Goddess of the Sea, and she brings good luck to fisherman, and anyone who lives or makes their money from the sea.
She is very popular in coastal Chinese villages. Surprisingly, throwing an orange up into a tree isn’t as easy as it sounds and it took us a few tries, but we finally succeeded, and enjoyed the peaceful surroundings of the temple.
How To Get There
There are a few ways to get to Tin Hau Temple, but none of them are quick. If you plan on going, make plans to dedicate a morning or afternoon for it, and while you are there explore this more secluded and quiet part of Hong Kong.
- Take bus 64K or 64P at MTR Tai Po Market Station, and get off at Fong Ma Po Station.
- Take minibus 25K and get off at Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees. •
- MTR Tai Wo Station and take a taxi Hong Kong is such a fascinating, chaotic, loud, fun city!
If you happen to be in Hong Kong, the Wishing Tree temple is well worth the trip. Why not try your hand at making your most desirable wish come true?
Hong Kong is a fascinating destination and there is so much to do, and even though we’ve done quite a bit, there’s still more to do on our bucket list like hiking Lion Rock, ride a Chinese junk boat, and eat at some of the Michelin star restaurants. I guess it’s almost time to go back!
Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.
Source: Discover Hong Kong