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Hongkong, Macau & Taiwan

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Hongkong Attractions (Top 3)
 

Man Mo Temple
Hong Kong's oldest and most famous temple (cl847) is dedicated to two gods, one civilian, the other military: Man, or Man Cheong, the god of literature, and Mo, or Kuan Ti, the god of war. Figures of each stand on the main titlear, Man dressed in green holding a writing brush and Mo arrayed in red brandishing a sword. Man (literally 'civil') was a 3rd-century BC Chinese statesman, Mo ('militay'), a 2nd-century AD Chinese soldie. Man is the traditional protector of civil servants, Mo - worshipped by Taoists and Buddhists alike - the guardian of armies, policemen, secret societies and pawnbrokers. Lesser gods lie ranged beside the temple's titlear statues, notably Pao Wong, the god of justice, and Shing Wong, a god who keeps watch over the surrounding district. A visit here is a must if you want to savour the flavour of a Taoist temple (albeit one with Buddhist overtones), the atmosphere mystical but oddly casual, the dusky air pungent with the scent of incense burning from huge coils hung from the roof. A bell and drum by the entrance sound when a prayer or offering is made - usually fruit or sticks of incense. The large bell, cast in Guangzhou (Canton), dates from 1846, its smaller neighbour, on the left, from 1897. Also look out for the two antique sedans under glass by the titlear, originally used to carry the statues of Man and Mo during ceremonial processions.

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