The Tian Hou temple in Chiwan, Shenzhen, was built in 1410. A large, ornately decorated gold statue of Tian Hou, the goddess of the sea and protector of fishermen and sailors, dominates the central hall. Flanking Tian Hou are smaller statues of Caishen, the Chinese god of wealth, and Guanyin, the bodhisattva of compassion.
To the left of the main temple is a covered platform where large incense coils hang from the rafters and burn slowly. To the the right stands a tree with branches that worshipers tie red cards and ribbons inscribed with handwritten prayers and wishes to.
A two-story drum tower just outside the main temple gate is also open to visitors, but the two-story bell tower is closed most of the year. Stop by the two manmade ponds to spot koi fish and turtles. You'll also find a museum and a small shop that sells Buddhist souvenirs and other merchandise off the entrance path.
Chiwan is an important port on the eastern edge of the Pearl River Delta. The Tian Hou temple is located near two other historic sites in Chiwan, the Left Fort and the tomb of the last emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty. You can visit all three in less than three hours.