Man Mo Temple

This temple, situated in the very heart of Sheung Wan, is a pivotal landmark in this heritage quarter. Located on Hollywood Road, this is one of Hong Kong’s oldest temples and has been a focal point for the devout for more than 150 years. Modest and unassuming, Man Mo Temple is dedicated to two Gods – Man, the God of literature, and Mo, the God of war or martial valour. If the exterior is somewhat simple, its interior makes up for that. Inside, large bell-shaped coils of incense hang from the temple's ceiling, and devotees burn these coils to attract the attention of the Gods. So, step into the temple and you’re instantly assailed by the aroma of incense and a riot of colour. There are many altars and images of Gods, offerings from devotees, statues of deities and animals, and plenty of red and gold, the Chinese colours of good fortune and happiness.

Interestingly, many a dispute has been settled in this temple in colonial times, by locals who preferred their traditional justice system to British law. This ritual involved curses and promises written on paper, blood from a freshly sacrificed chicken and fire. Yeah, sometimes, justice can be gory and cruel!