Thian Hock Keng Temple

Chinatown & the CBD

Thian Hock Keng Temple, internal

Surprisingly, Chinatown’s oldest and most important Hokkien temple is often a haven of tranquillity. Built between 1839 and 1842, it’s a beautiful place, and was once the favourite landing point of Chinese sailors, before land reclamation pushed the sea far down the road. Typically, the temple's design features are richly symbolic: the stone lions at the entrance ward off evil spirits, while the painted depiction of phoenixes and peonies in the central hall symbolise peace and good tidings respectively.

Interestingly, the temple gates are Scottish and the tiles Dutch.