We lingered for more than an hour at Statue Square before we crossed the street to the bus stop heading to Man Mo Temple. By now we are used to taking the bus and finding the right bus stops to wait for. What we’re not used to, well at least me, is seeing these large vehicles navigate through some of Hong Kong’s narrow one way roads, just like Hollywood Road. I was looking out on my window as the nearest street to Man Mo Temple was the Ladder Street. And soon I saw Nina from the front signaling us that we’re already here.
Man Mo Temple is a lot smaller than I expected, probably because it’s flanked by residential high rises that dwarfed its appearance. Nevertheless, Man Mo temple in Hollywood Road is the largest and one of the oldest (if not the oldest) temple in Hong Kong. Built in 1847 during the early British Rule, it is the place of worship for 2 gods – Man Cheong, the God of Literature and Mo which refers to Kwan Yu, the God of War.
In 1900s it became the house to resolve conflicts and disputes by the locals. Now people go here not only to worship and possibly have their fortunes told as well. The structure is divided in 3 sections, The Man Mo Temple proper, Lit Shing Temple and Kung So. The first to sections are for the 2 gods while the last one is the assembly hall for the disputes.
The facade is fairly simple, but the miniature details made me appreciate it more. Photography isn’t allowed inside so I was just contented to look around. The images of the gods are enshrined inside the temples as well as the numerous spiral incenses hanging from the roofs. I didn’t get to stay long as the thick smoke from the incenses were too much for me.
We took the bus back to Statue Square and this time took the MTR to Yau Ma Tei. The MTR is straightforward much like the ones in Singapore, get the tickets from the machine then off to the trains. It was interesting to look at the Hong Kong locals who takes the train. Most of the people here, whether, students, business men or elders have high tech touch phones. It does say a lot about the demographics of his country.
We reached Mongkok and walked a short distance to Tim Ho Wun for our late lunch where we had to wait in line for more than an hour to get inside. (check back at www.happyfoodies.com for the sumptuous details). Then we walked our ways as Nina goes to buy her toys and we were off to Mongkok’s electronic haven. Sai Yeung Choi St was just overflowing with merchants showcasing the latest gadgets from mobile phones, iPads and digital cameras. We went inside Sim City at Chung Kiu building and was overwhelmed with 5 floors of stores selling cameras and other gadgets. Of course I didn’t leave Hong Kong without buying something from one of the stores.
It was an ocean of people at the streets during weekend rush hour. Chaotic. We decided to take the MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui and work our way to the viewing deck near the Clock Tower where we would re-group with Nina for the Symphony of Lights. We arrived just in time for it to start and I saw Nina comfortably tucked on the viewing deck. Oggie got to his preferred place by the Clock Tower. Since I didn’t bring my tripod, I looked for a nice place where I can place my camera for support and found a suitable spot below the view deck platform.
Hong Kong’s Symphony of Lights is the largest permanent light and sound show in the world that happens every evening at 8pm on good weather. 44 buildings synchronize their light show with the music heard over the whole waterfront view deck. The show runs for more than 10 minutes and it’s actually very nice to watch even for once and first timers in Hong Kong. What’s also interesting are the street performers hanging out at the waterfront. The 1900s Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower, which is now a heritage monument, is the only remaining structure from the former site of Kowloon Canton Railway. I enjoyed taking photos of that structure in different angles.
We checked out a few shops selling watches and bought a few for presents at home. We took a ride at the star ferry for a measly HKD 3 back to Wan Chai crossing Victoria Harbor. It was already late but the walk back to our hotel was pleasant due to the cool weather. Dropping by a noodle house for dinner then back to our hotel. It’s our last night in Hong Kong Island, as tomorrow we’ll make our way to Lantau for Hong Kong Disneyland where we’re also going to stay.
Join our Backpack Photography Photo Tours and Workshops for early 2011. Banaue Photography 101 for beginners on February, Bewitching Siquijor Photo Tour on March 2011 and Batanes Island Hopping in April 2011
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.