Doing the (comparative theologian) tourist thing in Hong Kong

Today was another great day in Hong Kong!  I came down to my hotel in Kowloon (it’s in the Ovolo chain, and seriously, if you are ever in Hong Kong, this is where you want to stay!), where I’ll be for the next two days.  I wanted to have two days to visit a few more Chinese temples, and also the big Buddha & monastery on Lantau Island–who knows if I will ever be back in Hong Kong again?!

So, today, I got to my hotel around 10:00 & was able to sip a cappuccino from the breakfast bar while I posted my last blog writing for my room to be ready.  (Ah, coffee!) I checked in, unpacked & was out wandering around by noon.  I walked all afternoon & had a wonderful time.  I even found Kowloon Park, a gorgeous space right in the middle of the city–the first picture is from there.  I also went to one of the more famous outdoor markets (they are everywhere!)–the “Ladies Market” & did some decent bargaining, if I say so myself!  That’s the second picture.  As I was coming home, vendors were starting to set up for the very famous night a Temple Market–I’m not going out for that one:  it’s going to be a long day tomorrow, so I’m heading to bed early.
The first temple I saw was Tin Hau Temple, dedicated to Tin Hau, the goddess of seafarers.  She is the main deity in the center hall; the side halls include other gods.  The first four pictures are from that temple.  The second temple I visited was Tam Kung Temple, dedicated to Tam Kung, the God of safety at sea (that’s what’s important in a (historically) fishing economy.  It also has a wide variety of other deities, too.  The last five pictures are from that temple.  You can see the offerings of fruit and incense, and also the hanging incense cones from the ceiling.  Both temples were pretty busy:  people come in, buy incense from the stall (if they haven’t brought their own), pray & often ring the large bell when they are done.  At one of the temple, a man also was having his fortune told. The temples were vibrant, colorful and gorgeous–I had a hard time leaving!  Now I’m back in my room, watching the sun set (last picture). 

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