Early January we explored Tsuen Wan and its surroundings.
We started with the big attraction, the Yuen Yuen Institute, which is tucked into the hills just north of the town and a ten-minute taxi ride from Tsuen Wan MTR station (we had planned to take the minibus 81 to Lo Lo Wai, but over 100 people were already in the queue in front of us!).
The institute (rather misleadingly named) is a temple, which is very popular with Hong Kong people.
It is a one-stop shop catering to worshipers of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. As a result, it is packed on weekends and holidays.
The Institute was founded in 1950 and occupies spacious grounds in the tranquil, beautiful environment of Sam Dip Tam. The Institute is a collection of temples, pavilions, monasteries and prayer halls dedicated to Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist beliefs, and its sprawling grounds are dotted with decorative gardens and ponds.
The Institute’s purpose is to spread the principles of these three religions, to uphold the eight virtues (i.e. filial piety, respect, loyalty, fidelity, propriety, justice, honesty and honour) and to promote social welfare.
One of its many attractions includes a replica of Beijing’s magnificent Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan). The Hall of Rocks Collection features rocks with interesting natural shapes, including those of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. The pagoda houses 60 statues representing the full cycle of the Chinese calendar — you can look for the one that corresponds to your birth year and make an incense offering.
Yuen Yuen Institute
Lo Wai Village, New Territories, Tsuen Wan
Hours: Daily 9-5
How to get there: Metro Tsuen Wan, Exit B1, Minibus 81 to Lo Lo Wei (or Taxi)