- Kau Sai Chau, Sai Kung, New Territories
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Hung Shing Temple at Kau Sai Chau, Sai Kung
On the remote island of Kau Sai Chau sits the 120-year-old Hung Shing Temple. This tucked away place, the subject of a UNESCO award-winning restoration project, once served as a place of worship, a community centre and a village school.
A plaque inside the temple reveals its establishment date to be 1889, when the island’s fishing community dedicated it to Hung Shing, God of the Sea. As with many rural temples, it’s comprised of two halls. The courtyard between the front and main halls has been roofed over, while the space on both sides remains open. One of the side chambers was used for the school, and the other as living quarters for the temple’s keeper.
In addition to Hung Shing’s image presented in a place of honour on the main altar, there are also images of two other deities typically worshipped by seafarers, Choi Pak Shing Kwan and Shui Sin Yeuh. The wall behind the main altar has an attractive mural depicting dragons, while a model of a dragon boat is also displayed in the main hall alongside seafaring memorabilia.
The temple has been renovated four times, most likely because of the damage caused by fierce winds and heavy rainstorms that can occur during Hong Kong’s typhoon season. Completed in 2000, the latest project was financed by a grant of $2 million from the Hong Kong Jockey Club, and won an Outstanding Project award in The UNESCO Asia–Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation. The temple was preserved as a Declared Monument in 2002.
Bus 92 or 96R (available on Sundays and public holidays only) from MTR Choi Hung Station Exit C2 or Minibus 1A/1M from MTR Choi Hung Station Exit C2. Walk along the waterfront to Sai Kung Pier (opposite Tung Kee Seafood Restaurant) and take a privately-owned boat to Kau Sai Chau.