Seeking Respite and Paying Tribute in Man Mo Temple

Elder woman paying tribute at Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan

Elder woman paying tribute at Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan

Young boy lighting a candle at Man Mo Temple

Slowly burning incense coils with prayer tags at Man Mo Temple

A Man Mo temple is one that pays tribute to 2 gods: Man (the God of Literature) and Mo (the God of War). Scholars used to patronize these gods, wishing for success in their civil examinations in imperial China to advance their ranking.

The largest such temple in the area, and the one most frequently cited as ‘Man Mo Temple’ (even though there are several in HK), is on Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan. [Note: this Hollywood bears no relation to, and was named as such well before, California’s Hollywood]. Built in 1847, this Taoist temple also once served as a court of law. It is an intimate, peaceful respite, just a stone’s throw from the dozens of antique shops and newer galleries, shops, and restaurants sprouting up on Hollywood.

Man Mo Temple is probably best known for its smoky, weeks-long-burning incense coils (said to ‘feed’ or carry wishes to spirits), which pleasantly perfume and cloud the air. From these coils dangle red tags containing written prayers and wishes. But what I enjoy most is respectfully observing the locals, young and old, who come to pray and light candles.


Man Mo Temple

124-126 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

+852 2540 0350


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Globetrotter based in Hong Kong, travel and street photographer, Getty Images contributor, award-winning blogger of - seeking true beauty in travel and life!

4 thoughts on “Seeking Respite and Paying Tribute in Man Mo Temple”

  1. Hey there. Thanks for stopping by and following my blog. I’ll be following yours! Have been wanting to go to this temple for ages… this week for sure!


  2. Hi Deb. Nice blog. You have a great eye for composition and colour. Just in case you have not been there yet, Fung Ying Seen Koon is across the road from Fan Ling station. It is one of HK’s oldest Daoist temples. Walk up to the top of the hill on the temple grounds and sit in the pavilion– beautiful place to clear your head. They also serve fantastic vegetarian food. Cheers from Vancouver.


    • Thanks very much! I will definitely check out Fung Ying Seen Koon. Greatly appreciate the tip! Enjoy Vancouver. Someday I would like to visit there.


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