Man Mo Temple was built by wealthy Chinese merchants between 1847 and 1862 as a tribute to the God of Literature (man) and the God of War (mo). Both deities were worshiped by ambitious students eager to succeed in the rigorous civil examinations of imperial China; good grades paved the way for a prestigious career in government administration. Today, tucked in the shadows of hulking apartment towers on busy Hollywood Road, it’s Hong Kong Island’s oldest temple and probably its most well known. The dimly lit Man Mo, with its carved wooden panels, ornate ceramic figurines, plaster moldings, murals, and giant incense coils hanging from the ceiling, feels wonderfully ethereal. A visit to Man Mo is a step off the grid in frenetic Hong Kong.

More Recommendations

Achieve Inner Peace in Hong Kong

One of my favorite tucked away places turns out is a popular stop not just for me, but thousands of other tourists every year. Located on Fu Shin Street, Man Mo is a temple for the worship of the civil or literature god Man Tai and the martial god Mo Tai. Inside it’s one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples I have ever visited, the smells of the incense nearly overwhelming and the silent prayers by parishioners a constant companion. Be sure to stop by for a few minutes if you get the chance.

Drifting Through Man Mo Temple

Central is all glass, concrete and steel. It’s exciting, but I prefer the more atmospheric, intimate alleyways of Sheung Wan. I arrive at the dark, smokey (incense) Man Mo Temple before the throng of locals and tourists descend upon it. Fabulous trip to Hong Kong:

Information on this page, including website, location, and opening hours, is subject to have changed since this page was last published. If you would like to report anything that’s inaccurate, let us know at

Nearby highlights
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
More From AFAR