On the way to Lantau, you get to see a different set of buildings. It
seemed like every big banking company in the world had a huge building
in the downtown area of Hong Kong.
I became fascinated with the old and new elements in the architecture.
Much of the old was left with the new being pastiched-on.
This is the top of Man-Mo Temple on Hollywood Road. It is the oldest
(and perhaps only) temple left in Hong Kong. It honors 2 gods: Man and
Mo. Inside, where you cannot take pictures, the entire ceiling is hung
with coils of incense that can burn for months. The air is thick with
the scent of sandlewood, and, despite being a tourist destination, is
an active temple. When we were there, the interior doors were closed,
signaling that the ladies who were caring for the temple had sensed
some spiritual danger about. Spirits are not supposed to be able to go
up stairs, around doors or along winding paths, so there are door jams
everywhere, even in hotel rooms (makes for a few stumbles, especially
if you're as clumsy as I, until you get used to the fact that there is
a slight step up required to get into your room). The outside doors to
the temple were
open, but the ceremonial inside ones which sit directly behind the fron
doors were closed. These doors resemble movable screens, with a set of
doors inside the frame. One could walk to either side to get into the
proper, but the bad spirits could not.
One of the Foo Lions guarding the exterior court of Man-Mo Temple. Foo
Lions were not "indigenous" to Chinese art or lore, but now they have
come almost to symbolize China.