Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Temple Under a Big Tree

Have you ever biked out along a road, not knowing where you were going, but suddenly discover something so awesome and amazing?

That's what happened this week.  

My husband and I were out biking around Yuen Long.  We were riding along the road and discovered the Temple Under a Big Tree (Tai Shue Ha Tin Hau Temple a.k.a. 百年榕樹護蔭).

The temple can be found along Tai Shu Ha Road East.  

It's a fully functioning Tin Hau Temple.  Fun Fact:  Hong Kong, an incredibly long time ago, used to be comprised of fishing villages.  Because most families made their livelihoods fishing, they prayed to the goddess of the seas, Tin Hau, for protection.

The temple was named as such because of the huge banyan tree that sits in the courtyard.  There is a lovely rest area that runs long the base of the tree.  It's a beautiful place to sit, reflect, and people watch.

Fun Fact:  This basin (pictured below) can be found along the fence that blocks off the banyan tree.  The sign above the basin read:  Turn Your Luck Around Wash.  Supposedly, if you rub both sides of the basin with your hands, then splash some water on hands, then you will have good luck.

Reading up on this place online, the suggested way to reach this temple is by catching mini bus 73 from Tai Tong Road (which is in the middle of Yuen Long town).

Riding away from this temple that afternoon was sort of bittersweet.  It's like a mirage in a desert.  It just sprang up on us and it was truly a lovely surprise.  I wonder if I'll ever happen upon it again.

I really love finding Tin Hau temples around this City.  There are said to be over 100 temples dotted along different districts.  I'm glad to have been to some really touristy ones as well as some really local ones (like those of Yuen Long area).