Wong Tai Sin is a place of faith and pilgrimage. Since the early 20th century, people have come to this landlocked portion of Hong Kong to pray at the Taoist Wong Tai Sin Temple and the Buddhist Chi Lin Nunnery, their devotion creating a sense of peace in the otherwise hectic metropolis.
Things to do
The Wong Tai Sin Temple is one of Hong Kong’s major tourist attractions, and understandably so. It’s a vast complex, erected in the early 20th century but built in a traditional Chinese temple style. The Nine Dragon Wall was inspired by a similar imperial screen in Beijing, lined with memorial arches and tranquil ponds.
The Chi Lin Nunnery and neighbouring Nan Lian Garden are both 20th-century creations but date back to the Tang Dynasty period. The nunnery’s architecture is based on a drawing from the Mogao Caves, and it’s the world’s largest handmade wooden building. Not a single nail was used in its construction. Statues of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas line the temple halls, several of them made from gold.
Tsz Wan Shan is a predominantly residential area of Wong Tai Sin, but it’s worth venturing here to see the Fat Jong Temple or to hike up Temple Hill to the Ma On Shan Country Park. The park boasts some of the most dramatic scenery in Hong Kong, and you can also occasionally spot local wildlife such as pangolin, wild boar and barking deer. When they are in bloom, the rhododendrons and orchids that highlight the area are quite spectacular.
There are four MTR metro stations in the district, with Wong Tai Sin connected to Lung Cheung Road and Kwun Tong Line via Lok Fu, Wong Tai Sin, Diamond Hill and Choi Hung stations. Travelling by car, you can drive here along the Lung Cheung Road.