Macao houses a treasure trove of ancient Chinese temples, which have served as the pivotal places of worship for hundreds of years. Macao temples primarily serve the Buddhist, Taoist and folk faiths. Buddha, Na Tcha, Tin Hau (Goddess of Seafarers) and Kun Iam (Goddess of Mercy), etc., are all revered in various temples. By visiting Macao’s diverse temples, sightseers can learn more about traditional Chinese beliefs and the city’s historical origin as a fishing village.
A-Ma Temple already existed before the city of Macao came into being. It consists of the Gate Pavilion, the Memorial Arch, the Prayer Hall, the Hall of Benevolence, the Hall of Guanyin, and Zhengjiao Chanlin (a Buddhist pavilion). The variety of pavilions dedicated to the worship of different deities in a single complex make A-Ma Temple an exemplary representation of Chinese culture inspired by Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and multiple folk beliefs.
Address： Barra Square
Opening Hours ：9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
2.Kun Iam Tong
This Buddhist temple dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy was founded in the 13th century and the present buildings date from 1627. It is one of the biggest and wealthiest of Macao’s temples with a huge entrance gate and roofs clustered with porcelain figures. Separated by open courtyards are richly decorated halls dedicated to the Precious Buddhas, the Buddha of Longevity and Kun Iam, who is dressed in embroiled silk with a fringed crown (which is changed every year). She is attended by 18 Buddhas on either side of the altar. In adjoining rooms are funeral chapels and scrolls honouring Kun Iam in pictures and calligraphy.
Behind the temple are terraced gardens. In one is the stone table on which was signed the first Sino-American treaty on July 3, 1844, by the Viceroy of Canton Ki Ying and the United States Minister Caleb Cushing. Nearby is the marble statue of a monk in an ornate pavilion, and four ancient banyan trees with branches intertwined which is known as the Lovers Tree and a symbol of marital fidelity.
In other parts of the garden are fountains shaped like miniature Chinese landscapes, groves of bamboo and small shrines to departed priests. The festival of Kun Iam is celebrated on the 19th day of second, sixth, ninth and 11th moons.
Address： No. 2 Avenida do Coronel Mesquita
Opening Hours： 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
3.Lin Fong Temple(Temple of Lotus)
Built in 1592 and most regularly restored, this Temple of the Lotus has a fine facade of intricate clay bas-relief carved in the 19th century depicting historical and mythological figures. Stone lions guard the entrance. Inside is a hall with a statue of Tin Hau on the altar, flanked by the guardian generals. Beyond is a courtyard decorated with a frieze of writhing dragons, a lotus filled pond and fine iron brazier. The main hall is dedicated to Kun Iam, whose statue occupies an elaborate altar. Aside altar has a shrine to Kwan Tai. The temple’s ceiling is a particularly good example of the black beams and exposed white tiles construction. Lin Fong Temple is historically famous as the place where for centuries Chinese Mandarins from Guangdong Province would stay when they came to Macao. The most renowned visitor was Commissioner Lin Zexu, who spent most of September 3rd 1839 in Macao. He is honoured with a six-foot granite statue and a new museum in the temple courtyard.
Address： Avenida do Almirante Lacerda
Opening Hours： 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
4.Lin Kai Temple(Stream of Mourning Temple)
Dating from the 17th century, this temple occupies a square off Estrada do Repouso in the Patane district, where a regular flea market is held. The temple has facade with some fine granite carvings on the walls and ridgepole and large Chinese lion statues on the roof.
The main hall is dedicated to Ua Kuong, the dark-faced god who protects against fire. He is attended by Thousand-Li Eye and Favourable-Wind Ear. In one adjoining hall are goddesses associated with childbirth and rearing. Along the walls are 18 statues of goddesses with children, brightly coloured and expressive clay figures of the 60′ year’ gods. In another hall is a row of six Buddhist pusas. Kun Iam in her fringed-veil head-dress is worshipped in one of the halls where she shares an altar with a statue of Kwan Tai. A further hall is dedicated to the Monkey God, a popular character from Taoist mythology and hero of the literary epic monkey. The Lin Kai Temple supports a hospital and poor people’s home. The festival of Ua Kuong is celebrated on the 28th day of the ninth moon.
Address ：No. 25 – 31 Travessa da Corda
Opening Hours： 7:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
5.Pou Tai Sin Un
Pou Tai Sin Un on Taipa Island is one of the best-endowed and most picturesque temples in Macao. Inside the main hall sits the largest Buddha statue in Macao. This Bronze statue, including its Lotus throne, is 5.4 metres tall and weighs about 6 tons. Besides the main hall and other halls, there is a very popular vegetarian restaurant.
Address： No. 5 – 5B Estrada Lou Lim Ieok, Taipa
Opening Hours： 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
6.Sam Kai Vui Kun (Kuan Tai Temple)
This temple is located close to the old Chinese Bazaar area, which nowadays functions as St. Dominic’s Market, still keeping the essence of the original function of the area. The location of this Chinese construction at the heart of the main city square with its predominantly western-style architecture illustrates the harmonious coexistence of the two cultures. This temple is directly associated with long-standing Chinese business associations, precursors to the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in the city.
Address ：Rua Sul do Mercado de São Domingos
Opening Hours： 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
7.Na Tcha Temple
Built in 1888, this temple is dedicated to the worship of Na Tcha. This small traditional Chinese temple stands close to the remains of the principal Jesuit enterprise of the region, presenting a dialectic of western and Chinese ideals, as one of the best examples of Macao’s multicultural identity and religious freedom.
Address： No. 6 Calçada de S. Paulo (next to Ruins of St. Paul’s)
Na Tcha Temple: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Na Tcha Exhibition Room: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., no admission after 5.30 p.m. (Closed on Wednesdays, open on public holidays)
8.Tam Kong Temple
This temple, with a fine toll roof decorated with porcelain figures, is dedicated to Tam Kong, a Taoist god of seafarers. Beside his image, the temple contains a four feet long model of a dragon boat made from a whalebone, with a crew of wooden men in red robes and yellow hats.
There is also a dramatic mural of a tiger with club, big-eyed and orange striped, against a background of rocks and twisted pines.
There are two temples dedicated to Tin Hau in Coloane village. The larger, on Largo Tin Hau Miu has, at its entrance, a traditional fire engine, which had to be wheeled by hand. A short distance away, off Travessa da República, is a smaller temple, with some brilliant gilded carvings over the entrance and a moongate facing the sea.
Address： Avenida de Cinco de Outubro, Largo Tam Kong Miu, Coloane
Opening Hours： 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The above are the 8 famous temples in Macau with a long history. There are gods with three feet above our heads, we should be in awe.