Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tsin Shui Wan Temple Trek

Recently, the twins and I volunteered to go along on a walking field trip with Tori’s class. I am actually not sure why I signed up for this trip as walking anywhere with the twins can be difficult. I think it was the promise of only 15 minutes walking that made me think we could do it. And we could, at least the downhill part! We all walked from Tori’s school, perched on a hill, down to the beach at Repulse Bay ( a neighborhood on the south side of Hong Kong Island). We have been to Repulse Bay beach a couple times, quickly finding the Pizza Hut and 7-Eleven. But much to my embarrassment, that is where we stopped. With Tori’s class, we wandered maybe 100 yards further down the beach and came about the wonderful Tsin Shui Wan Temple.

Tsin Shui Wan is a big beautiful Buddhist temple, with lots of large outdoor statutes decorating the entrance to the temple. I have no idea how old this temple is but guess it is relatively modern. Tori’s teacher, Mrs. Tan, gave Tori (and the twins) worksheets with more than enough other information to fill a sunny morning. Everyone took their worksheets very seriously. Tori wrote in the answers where she could and Adam and Royce drew pictures of what they thought were the answers. We all did crayon rubbings of Chinese characters and various tile mosaics. Tori pondered which religion was right (her class also visited a Hindi temple) but the twins just screamed with joy at all the animal statues and joss sticks.

We entered the temple through the "Thousand Year Old Door", which is really a huge gate. We saw all sorts of animal statues, like the longevity horse, the ocean blessing horse and the goats of prosperity, not to mention a couple sea dragons. There are huge (20 feet tall) statues of the Goddess of Life Savings, the Goddess of Mercy and the God of Longevity. We walked over (twice) the Bridge of Longevity, which is to increase your life by 3 days with every crossing. As we were leaving one statue, the Old Man from the Moon, some Chinese tourists told the kids they should sit on the statue’s bench to ensure they find good spouses. The Old Man from the Moon is a matchmaker. The kids did this and then Tori jumped up and pulled her friend Connor over to the statue. While I was thinking that maybe she wanted to marry him or some such thing, she very sweetly told me that she just wanted to make sure that Connor was happy when he was an adult.


Post a Comment

<< Home