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Shenzhen’s Chiwan Tian Hou Temple

Shenzhen’s Chiwan Tian Hou Temple

It is great to know that amidst Shenzhen’s bustling city life, there are still places which reflect traditional Chinese culture and history. A nice example is Chiwan’s Tian Hou Temple or the Temple of the Queen of Heaven. The Goddess is said to be worshipped in different parts of Hong Kong, Macau and Mainland China.

Shenzhen’s Tian Hou temple is found in Nanshan District, in the small port town called Chiwan which is about an hour from the city center by subway. It is built in the 14th century in the Ming Dynasty. It is witness to several marine and folk traditions and is a temple/museum. It is open to the public and will cost you RMB 15 for a visit.

When I was researching of places to visit in Shenzhen, I made sure to look for sights that prove Shenzhen has her own share of a beautiful past and not just a booming city of concretes and skyscrapers. I wondered then that all must start from something simple right.

A visit to this beautifully preserved temple complex requires a half-day visit. I used the subway and just walked for about 15 minutes from Chiwan station. It was hard to miss the temple even if its roof were partially hidden by trees. However, the entrance was located at the ‘back’ of the road but I understood why it was such. The Goddess Tian Hou, or Mazu (a Chinese sead Goddess) for which temple of this kind are built, is in charge of ensuring the smooth passage of sea vessels so every front door of every Tian Hou temple was constructed facing the sea.

I actually thought the complex was closed during my visit. But the nice woman selling incense directed me to the parking lot even if she wasn’t speaking English. I guessed she knew I was a looking for the entryway. At the parking area, there were signs leading to the entrance. As soon as I turned left, I was greeted by the massive red arch and proceeded quickly to the ticket booth on the side.

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I was greeted with a relaxing and peaceful surroundings as soon as I entered the temple premises. The photos of the temple I saw online didn’t do justice as the complex was virtually litter free and was even more beautiful in person. The buildings were beautifully preserved and colorfully painted. There were not much visitors and the ones I was with were all behaving well. Some came with families who just hang out at the garden area while others came to give their respects and prayers to their gods. It was worth the long travel and gave me a bit of respite. It’s definitely one of my favorite spots in Shenzhen.

How to Get Here

Take subway Line 2 bound to Chiwan station, Exit C.

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