While most people associate the Hong Kong skyline with glittering monuments to international finance, in Fanling it’s an entirely different type of structure that dominates the horizon. From its commanding hillside location, one of the city’s most important Taoist temples immediately catches the eye with its massive orange-tiled double roof, built in traditional Chinese design and supported by stout red pillars of stone.
Founded in 1929, Fung Ying Seen Koon was named after the two fairy islands of Fung Lai and Ying Chau, and is believed by many to be the dwelling place of immortals. From the larger structures, such as its pavilions and halls, to its tinier details, including the tiles and decorative elements, Fung Ying Seen Koon is a paradigm of Taoist design.
The blue ceiling inside the main palace (which is called the Great Palace of the Three Sages) represents the Heavens. If you look up you can also spot clouds, ornamental columns and fairy crowns on the ceiling. In front of the temple’s Ancestral Hall is the Wall of Tao Te Ching, where 81 chapters of the famous work Tao Te Ching by the ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi are inscribed.
In line with many of Hong Kong’s larger temples, a vegetarian restaurant serves wholesome fare to visitors.