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All reviews telok ayer street chinese immigrants sea goddess amoy street worth a visit the south china sea chinatown area southeast asia take pictures chinese new year hokkien worship oldest deities gods pray passage
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Reviewed 31 May 2021

Along Telok Ayer Street at the heart of Chinatown and adjacent to Singapore's CBD lies a lot of historical monuments and landmarks contributing to the history of the country. Just 2 mins from Exit A of Telok Ayer MRT stands the most beautiful temple in Singapore - Thian Hock Keng Temple. There are many shop houses, cafes, restaurants, temple & shrines, parks and Singapore's CBD offices are also just within the area. Some notable shrines include Nagore Dargah (oldest Muslim shrine built by Southern Indian immigrants), Yu Huang Gong Temple(Taoist temple), Telok Ayer Green park to name a few. The street was once a seaside town where ships arrive and depart for immigrants and merchants and over the years the land has been reclaimed. Thian Hock Keng temple is dedicated to the Goddess of Sea - Mazu and was built in 1840 as a place of worship and merits for earlier Chinese immigrants for a safe passage and voyage to the seas. It has been renovated over time and Tan Tock Seng, a Singapore Philanthropist was an earlier benefactor. Today it showcases the beautiful and traditional Southern Chinese architecture in SG and the oldest Hokkien temple. The main entrance is made of 3 doors, a Green gate and tiled roofs with Dragons on each corners. Made of ornate and elaborate carvings of Dragons, Phoenix to name a few in Stone, Wood, Tiles and Gold. Red Lanterns adorn the main entrance as well. During this pandemic entrance/exit is only allowed on the right side and QR code for contact tracing is a must. As you enter there are 2 covered pathways on each side of this square complex and the main front yard has an urn pot for your incense offerings. Photos and Videos are only allowed here as well as the open areas but not on the Main hall and Chapels/Shrine. The Main Hall is dedicated to the Goddess Mazu and 2 Deities also on the main altar. Here is the place for your prayers, offerings and donations. The ceiling is adorned with red lanterns and the main hall itself is intricately designed, painted and carved with ornate, elegant, classical masterpieces of Southern Chinese architecture. After I made my offering and prayers, I proceeded my way clockwise from the left side of the complex and I could see many shrines dedicated to different Deities, and Incense Urns for offerings. At the back of the main hall is a shrine dedicated to Goddess of Mercy - Guanyin. There is a Wishing Well with Golden Bells located on the east side at the back where I made some wishes and rang the bell. I also visited the temple once at night and even though its closed I could see the it was elegantly lit at night. Finally, as I made my way out of the complex, I felt blessed, privileged and happy to be able to experience and witness this amazing and beautiful place of worship, which is also a significant cultural landmark and National Monument of Singapore.

Date of experience: May 2021
1  Thank William C
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 8 December 2020

天福宫 is nestled in the Chinatown area which boost many cultural & historic buildings. It is along Telok Ayer Street, near to Boon Tat road. The Taoist temple is dedicated to the Sea goddess Mazu and traced its history back to the early 1800's.. I learned that the Temple originally faced the sealine (there has been much land reclaimed over the century).!
Like most established Temples the entrance hall has one main door and two side doors; the entrance leads directly into main courtyard. From here one can see the temple proper where the shrine of Mazu is located centrally. On either side of the temple are pagodas with octagonal base, very symbolic of Chinese good fengshui. Guarding the doors are stone lions and Door Gods.
The temple grounds may not be big but its altars and buildings and pillars are uniquely ornated/ carved. Bright red lanterns hung from the tall ceiling, making it a delightful and Instagramable sight. The temple is richly decorated with coloured tiles, gold lacquered wood with figures of dragons-phoenix too. Somewhat resembled the Taiwanese Temple I visited in January at Taipei, just before the COVID-19 halted ALL travels!
This temple is small so one probably spend 30 mins or so. Definitely well maintained, and there are explanation in both Chinese/English to cater to visitors. Nearby are eateries, cafes and other religious places so it make for a good trip-visit for all.

Date of experience: October 2020
3  Thank JimmySumKahWai
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 15 July 2020

The temple is the oldest and most important temple of the Chinese Hokkien people, and worships a Chinese Sea Goddess. The temple follows a traditional Chinese design, with a rich colour scheme of black, gold and red. I particularly loved the addition of the striking decorative dragons. 

Date of experience: August 2019
2  Thank Chelsea B
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 22 March 2020

Chinatown Singapore is the best. So much cultural history and interesting historical buildings. This Chinese temple is dedicated to the Chinese sea goddess Mazu and majority of funds came from the Hokkiennese community to erect this temple. The history of this temple goes back to the early 1800's. It is pretty phenomenal that this area of worship is dedicated to many other deities but the main focus is the sea goddess Mazu whom the Chinese community wanted to give thanks for a safe journey from their native China. It is also interesting to note that the temple originally faced the sea. Just goes to show you how much shoreline has been reclaimed over the century. The temple grounds are pretty amazing and the altars, buildings and pillars are uniquely ornate and carved and embellished. Dragons and phoenixes wrap around the supporting pillars. Eye popping tiles and altar decorations. A really fascinating cultural immersion into temple etiquette. Its not the first time that I have visited a temple dedicated to the sea goddess. There are many temples of this nature in Southeast Asia as the main Chinese population emigrated via sea route. A very memorable side excursion.

Date of experience: November 2019
2  Thank Della G
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 14 March 2020

While it is a short distance from the tourist center of Chinatown, this Buddhist temple is the best, most authentic, and old attraction in Singapore's Chinatown. The detain is exquisite and it is easy to be convinced you are in China when visiting instead of SE Asia. Both the stone and wood work are amazing and just what you think of the oldest temple on a Chinese mountain top. The tower and side chapels are also just as impressive. The main sanctuary is also a sight and it can not be pictured. It is a short walk from Pagoda Street and more central sights of Chinatown, but you will get to walk through the quaint and beautiful Chia Ann Siang Park. Be sure to visit, it is the most authentic attraction in Chinatown.

Date of experience: February 2020
4  Thank Grover R
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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