Tin Hau, a residential area situated between Causeway Bay and North Point, is named after the 200 year old Tin Hau (Goddess of the Sea) Temple. There is also a road and a MTR station that bear the name. When major renovation and expansion work of the temple was carried out in 1868, the Dai family was the main donor and has since been responsible in the running of the temple.* Their family ancestral hall is also in the compound.
* From an 1999 article by Dr. Joseph Tin, former Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Museum of History.

Beside the temple is a small garden where there is a spiral staircase to Dragon Road. A tall banyan tree in the middle of the road greets you when emerging from the spiral staircase. Opposite is The Red Swastika Society, which was founded in China in 1922. Based on Taoistic believes and the idea of the Red Cross to provide relief during disasters, the Society also advocates peaceful co-existence of all major religions. The place is not open to the public except the clinic which offers free medical services. 

If you are looking for enlightenment from India, the Raja Yoga Centre, a registered charity since 1971, is behind the banyan tree. An unexpected oasis just a short distance from busy traffic, the Centre has been offering free courses on meditation and spirituality with English first lesson conducted on every 1st and 3rd Thursday except public holidays. 

The Antithesis of a Secular Faith
For many of the seven million inhabitants in Hong Kong, the dream is to buy an apartment, not only as home, but also with the belief that this will make them rich. Hence, property investment is definitely on the top of the local secular faith list.
At Dragon Road, a major property development is underway. The bulldozer stopped short at No. 15–17. For whatever reason, the developer has to settle with a compromised plan. This requires its multi-million high rise residential block to co-exist with two old buildings by the side. Another interesting fact is that No. 13 Dragon Road is not on government records. Maybe, a predestined barrier was long  in place.

The scene of a pebble being allowed a space in between big rocks is yet to materialize at this construction site. Surprisingly, you can find one within a few dozen steps further up at No. 11 Dragon Terrace. Yes, a three storey, 700 sq. ft. house is standing in front of two towering high-rise buildings. See it as an orphaned structure left behind in the rapid pace of progress. But it can be regarded conversely as a Totem of Defiance (wittingly or unwittingly) against the roaring tide of money making.
From here, choose to backtrack to Tin Hau Temple Road to reach Tai Hang or walk to the end of Dragon Terrace, where there are two flights of stairs leading down to Tung Lo Wan Road. The right one is less steep to negotiate. 

Tai Hang – The Big Stream is a quiet residential district next to Tin Hau. If one find the sense of spirituality appealing at Tin Hau Road/Dragon Rd., there are two more Chinese temples, two churches and one chapel in this area. Not many cities can offer an experience of peaceful religious co-existence within such a short distance.

Lin Fa Kung (Palace of Lotus Flower) in Tai Hang was built in 1864. Once privately owned, it is now a Grade I historical building. The semi-octagonal front of the temple was built on raised platform. This could be a design against possible flooding when the causeway broke at present day Causeway Road. Such platform was also used at the Tin Hau Temple but is now covered by a wall.
The temple is dedicated to Kun-Yam or Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva in Buddhist  believes. He was already a buddha but stays as the lesser bodhisattva to assist common people to attain eternal happiness. Some scholars have suggested that during the reign of the only Chinese empress at the seventh century, his image was changed to a female. Since then, believers worship him as the Goddess of Mercy.

Inside the temple, the plafond features a dragon, possibly related to the yearly fire dragon dance during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The altar was built over a big rock.
Streets of Tai Hang
In Tai Hang, there are streets with Anglo-Saxon names like King, Ormsby, Brown, Warren, Shepherd and Jones, which make one feel like walking into a British town. This part of the area probably once housed the staff working for Jardine Matheson & Co. Ltd., which had strong commercial interests in nearby Causeway Bay since the Nineteenth Century.  Wun Sha St. (meaning washing yarn) was named in 1932 maybe because villagers once washed clothes at the now covered up stream. It is also possible that they offered such service to the residents living near-by.

What Tai Hang lacks is British bar grub. Instead you can sample from Japanese sushi to Brazilian oyster, Cantonese dim sum to German double cheese cake, Vietnamese pho to Singaporean laksa, French to continental fare, local coffee shop cha chaan ten to stall food tai pai dong, all within short open-air distance. Savour the charm and taste of the place before it becomes the next Soho as someone has suggested.

After walking the streets of Tai Hang and back to Tung Lo Wan Road to the left, you will find Fook Tak Old Temple, a simple roadside shrine dedicated to the earth god. Further on is the Trilogy of Christian Worship.

First is the Anglican St. Mary's Church, which was completed in 1936 with distinctive traditional Chinese architectural elements. It is a Grade II historic building. A small distance up East Hospital Road is Shing Kwong Church, a member of The Church of Christ in China. Originally established in 1870 by London Missionary Society, the church was built in 1927 and is a Grade III historic building. The Catholic Christ the King Chapel, built in 1928, is in the St. Paul Convent compound, established by the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres from France. The round Corinthian columns provide support at the outer perimeter of the chapel, allowing an unobstructed space inside. A father of the Paris Society of Foreign Missions conceived this unique design. The Chapel is open until 5 p.m.

Victoria Park
Walking back to Causeway Road and turn right is the Central Library. The pedestrian footbridge in front leads to the centre of Victorian Park where the statue of Queen Victoria sits facing the front gate. During the Second World War, the statue was removed from Statue Square in Central and shipped back to Japan for its metal. With the war ended, it was returned and placed in the park. After narrowly escaped the melting flame, it cannot avoid the fiery of a performance artist, who, in September 1996, smashed the nose of the statue and pour red paint over it.
Undiscovered Quiet Corners
There are three mid-size hotels in the vicinity. During the afternoon, with guests left for sightseeing or business engagements, you can practically claim one of their dining venues to be your own – to read a book or not to read a book.
  • The L’hotel is at King’s Road opposite the MTR station with the Tin Hau Temple behind it. The Corner 18 Restaurant is on the first floor.
  • At Tung Lo Wan Road, the Café du Parc of Metro Park Hotel is on the Second floor.
  • The Rosedale sits quietly at Shelter St. With an elevation of thirty three floors above ground, the SkyZone Restaurant & Lounge will open up half of Victoria Park with its carpet of green before you. Hopefully, after transcending through a passage of different religious and secular faiths, half the scene will suffice.

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