Dedicated to a Goddess of the Sea who is also the Empress of Heaven. The first temple was completed on this site in 1410. It is said that the famous admiral-eunuch Zheng He was commissioned by emperor Zhu Di to “sail west.” Reaching the Pearl River Delta near Chiwan, the fleet encountered a storm and was enabled to carry on. Tian Hou appeared to the emperor, saying it was she that saved the fleet, and that the emperor was to built a temple near the site to show his thanks. Thus the temple was built, and the Wish-Giving Tree in the courtyard (or perhaps its ancestor?) was planted by Zhang He and his staff.
The temple has since been destroyed and rebuilt several times, most recently by the Shenzhen Municipal Government in the 1990’s.
Chiwan Six Road runs along the north side of the temple. As you get off the bus here, you are facing the back of the temple. On the right is a gate that leads to a circular drive.
Pay the 15RMB entrance fee at the ticket office and continue all the way into the grounds, passing the side gate to the temple compound and reaching the large statue of Tian Hou standing between two ponds. (The office/classroom on the right as you pass includes a small museum; be sure to visit this later.)
|Address||The temple is located in the port area of Chiwan in Nanshan District. Many buses in Shenzhen go along Shennan Road; take one of these buses (for example, #204) to Nantou. There, transfer to #225. Tell the attendant: “Tyen ho myow.” (Rhymes with “Men throw cow.”) After 20-40 minutes (depending on traffic) this bus will go past the “Sea World” (Hai Shang Shi Jie) area on Taizi Road; you can recognize this by the large cruise ship anchored there. Leaving the commercial district, the bus will enter an industrial area. Just as it begins to enter another more commercial district, about 10-15 minutes after leaving the Sea World area, you will see the gate to the temple on your left. Shout “yo sha!” and get off there.|
2 replies on “Tian Hou Temple”
Michael said it well, it’s the last stop on the Shekou line. It’s small but worth a visit.
There’s not much in the way of history in Shenzhen, and this is one of the last remaining places to see Shenzhen as it was before the current Shenzhen and the megalopolis that it’s becoming.
The Tian Hou festival is on May 2nd this year (2013) so that might be worth a look!
From the outside this temple seems to be quite big and previously renovated as the roof tiles and everything else looks pretty nice and new. I haven’t been inside the temple as there are no english signs to explain anything so you might go there with someone who can read/speak Chinese. Entrance fee is still 15 RMB.
You might go there by metro (Chiwan station, Line 2/Shekou line) and talk a walk of 5-10 Min. to reach the temple. Chiwan area seems to be pretty small so it is difficult to miss the temple.