Stanley & Man Mo Temple
Known as the Pearl of the Orient, Hong Kong with no doubt is one of the most attractive destinations for either tourism or shopping. The Stanley, a common fishing village located on the southernmost part of the Island has developed to be a famous scenic spot.
It is said that once in the center of the village, there was a large Bombax Ceiba (Red Kapok Tree) which would be covered in red blossoms during its flowering season. Hence, the villages' Chinese name was red pillar until the 19th century when the British, in honour of Lord Stanley, renamed the village.
Man Mo Temple
One of the oldest and most famous and beautiful temples in Hong Kong is Man Mo Temple. It is located at the intersection of Hollywood Road and Ladder Street. It was built in the 1800s, at the beginning of the British colonial rule. A copper bell in the temple, made during the reign of Emperor Daoguang (1820-1850), proudly proclaims its long history.
Although it has been remodeled several times, the temple still maintains its original appearance. Inside it are delicate wooden bases used for transporting deities during parades and festivals and incense burners made of copper and other metals. Huge tower-shaped incense coils are always hanging from the ceiling of the hall and over the courtyard. And the smoke of the burning incense, together with the sunbeams, adds an element of mystery to the temple and indicates happiness, health and fortune.
The temple is a perfect combination of Taoism and Buddhism. Two deities are worshiped side by side in the temple shrine. They are Wenchang and Guan Yu. Wenchang, with a brush in his hand, takes charge of literature, especially during the imperial examinations, which determined a man's official rank in feudal times. Guan Yu, holding a sword in his hand, is in charge of war. There are statues of other Chinese gods as well, like Baogong, the symbol of justice and the town god who protects the whole city.
In these days, the temple is still popular. During the Spring Festival, many children, accompanied by their parents, pay a visit here to pray for good grades in a new semester. Usually, the pilgrims to the temple are people from the business circles and the financial community, donating from two or three hundred yuan to more than ten thousand yuan.