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Tin Hua Temple, Hong Kong

Written by Daniel Otero

My romance with Tin Hua

By: Daniel Otero

I began my experiences with Hong Kong and Hongkongers 30 years ago. Yes, this year will mark three decades since I began visiting HK and seen the repeated-progressive changes.  Always, like a ‘beautiful lady’, HK shows its best! And one thing that always enthralls me when I arrive on the old Island, is my fever to visit between Fortress Hill and if I have the energy of youth, walk down to Admiralty.  If there’s no energy, then it’s to ride the century-old trolley system.

The pubs, restaurants or fashion shops near Causeway Bay can be a particular attraction.  But in essence, this isn’t only the soul of Hong Kong. There’s more to do than that, the old is sometimes more attractive than the new.

While in China or crossing into Hong Kong, whether on the Kowloon or Island side–I’m attracted to the old temples.  The concept in this bustling metropolis, because at the end of the day, it’s important to find some peace. However and wherever the MTR will take me, from Diamond Hill all the way down to Tin Hua, there is that particular necessity to stop and pray to the Buddha.

Now, if you don’t have to want a moment of prayer.  Stops are usually to mediate and get away from all the noisiness of the crowded streets.

Here is when, I walk.  Avoiding the pubs, fast food joints or the nuoveau coffee shops.  I then go to it, even when several years have passed and I find ‘her’ in a dilapidated state.  It is here in Tin Hua where I walk and bend the knee, bow and give thanks for my lucky life.  Tin Hua Temple is special and it isn’t the most beautiful.  Actually, there are more gorgeous Buddhist buildings in Hong Kong with longer history.  But it’s Tin Hua where I always end up to get my peace of mind.

You see, I told that I have been coming to HK for 30 years.  I consider myself a few and one of the lucky ones.  I came from poverty and the streets of New York; however, my life has been blessed because I’m allowed to travel and see Hong Kong every year since I live on this side of the world.

Few are that fortunate, what takes years of savings and thousands of pounds or dollars in spending, I can just see it with just a ‘flick of my fingers’.  How lucky is that!

For this reason, from the first time I came to Hong Kong and 17 trips later, I still end-up in Tin Hua.  At my favorite Temple stop to once again give thanks to my blessed life!

About the author

Daniel Otero

A New Yorker who has been living in China for the past 10 years. He's a freelance writer/journalist and ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher.

A former member of the military with extensive travel to 50 countries and has lived in six.

Lover of life, good food, travel, writing and dealing with social issues.