Unknown Temple - Can Anyone Recognise ? | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Unknown Temple - Can Anyone Recognise ?

Unknown Temple - Can Anyone Recognise ?

Taken in the mid 1960's, but can't remember where. Possibly on one of the outlying islands ?

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Friday, January 1, 1960


Looks more like a Taiwanese temple with those very ornate roof adornments.

Thanks for that, phil. And yes, it was the ornate roof and the dragons fighting for the pearl which prompted me to take the photo. But I'm afraid it's not Taiwan - because I've not been there. I did, though, during the 1960's visit most of the inhabited outlying islands which leads me to think it's on one of those. The trellis post on the left of the photo also puzzles me.

Hi there,

One of the lantern reads [閻王廟]。  That would mean the nobility ruling the Chinese version of Hell. I am uncertain if Hong Kong has one one these.  Has to ask some knowledgeable persons for this.  I tried to Google 閻王廟 but the results mostly pointed to Taiwan locations.

My 2 cents,


Lovely ornate roof. Given it was the 1960s, the trellis tower may have been used for the lighting of fire crackers.

May not be in Hong Kong. The temple looks in a pretty good condition and with a lawn in front that has been cut and well kept. Cannot say that for any temple in Hong Kong.  Looks like a palm tree on the left.  As Phil says,  a Fukienese influence. May be in the Far East.  The Kuan Yin Temple in Penang has a similar roof architecture.

I wonder if this was a temple within one of the Fujianese/Hoklo communities? 

Hi there,

A bit more information about the temple.  The deity is actually not Chinese native.  The original deity was Hindi - Yamaraja.  It has just been assimilated into the Chinese Culture when Buddhism lot reached the Tang Dynasty, or even earlier.

Best Regards,


Hi There,

There is one more clue that showed it may not be in Hong Kong.  Most older temples in town dated back to Qing or even older, mostly use grey bricks.  In this particular two support columns showed red bricks.

The words showing in the variosu couplets may have other clues, but they are a bit blurred, unable to read.


Harry earlier mentioned the trellis, to me it looks like the pylon for some power lines running along the top of the photo. Does anyone recognise that style as well? Still erring on somewhere with significant Hokkien/Fujian community but not in HK.

As others have said, it is not a HK temple. Have you ever been to Singapore or Malaysia as it is most likely a Hokien or Foochow temple there like : Thian Hock Keng Temple (1842), the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore. https://goo.gl/Fm3Eec

There is a postcard selling on ebay with the same temple image on it.

It says on the back; "A Chinese Temple PENANG This is a typical temple in Malaya with its familiar Chinese architectural style" 

Chinese Temple Malaya.jpg
Chinese Temple Malaya.jpg, by eurasian_david



mystery solved. many thanks.