Kwan Im Thong is one of the well-known tourist attraction. It is also popular among Singaporeans. It is always packed with devotees of the Goddess of Mercy.
Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple
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Kwan Imm Temple at Waterloo street is probably the most famous Kwan Imm Temple in Singapore. Since young I have been visiting this place and according to my mother, this is one of the most blessed and most accurate Kuan Imm where wishes and blessings do come through. Although she does not go there to fight for the first joss stick during every Chinese New Year, we do make it a point to go there at least once to offer our prayers and donations for the temple.
I always like the Kuan Imm statue here as this is the thousand hand version and the statue is majestic and magnificent. I will always take a few looks at the place whenever I go there to pray as the statue does appear to bring some peace and quiet to my mind, especially as I always go there to pray for the health of my family and loved ones.
Outside the temple, there are many pushcarts selling joss sticks and flowers and at the same time, many old folks who are there hoping for some kind souls to give them some money for their meals. As far as I could, I would offer some money to the old folks, just to do some good deeds and help them.
Whenever I was troubled, I would think of going to temple to make some prayers. This temple is the temple that I will most likely go to. Firstly, it was the location, being located quite near to Bugis MRT station, it was convenient to get there.
Secondly, since young, my mother had been bringing me there so at least I know the procedures of making prayers there. Different temples may have different procedures for praying and I was always concerned when I enter a new temple that I will do something wrongly when making my prayers.
Lastly, after prayers, there are many Singapore Pools outlets near by that you can go to, to try your new found luck.
One of the most famous temples in Singapore, this place is a tourist destination right in the middle of bustling Chinatown. I pass this place almost everyday on my way to work and even in the mornings there are people around praying and giving offerings to the gods. I am Taoist/Buddhist and even though I am not super religious, I still go by some of the religious customs and as my dad says, it doesnt take too long to just drop by to light a few joss sticks.
The temple is very crowded during the lunch hour and during events like chinese new year so I would typically advise go-ers to avoid the temple during such peak periods. During other times of the day, it is typically fine and it although there might be a small crowd, is it not crazy as to those other times where I have to squeeze myself and my joss sticks through the crowd.
As I have heard, the Temple is apparently very blessed and it gives accurate advice. I usually see people kneeling down to 'pua qian' although to be honest I am not too sure on the procedure.
One of the most talked about Chinese temple around, Kwan In Tong is always thronged with worshippers. The practice here I've learnt is to take 3 incense sticks at the booths on either sides of the temple's entrance, light them up at the little oil pot, pray towards the sky, pray into the temple, put them into the big praying pit and then enter the temple to pray. Do not carry the incense sticks into the temple.
However a know-it-all I may sound like, the irony here is that I am a free thinker but this is actually the one place I would go to when I feel the need to 'speak'. I guess somehow, everyone at times, needs an avenue to pour out to in this unforgiving society? Each time I enter the temple, there is this indescribable serenity in my heart and I will feel heard. Faces of sincere worshippers sitting or kneeling on the big red velvet floor carpet tell me that yes, there are troubles in the world and I'm not alone. Enlightenment is on its way:)
The temple is situated at Bugis, the central location of Singapore. During its opening hours, it is always jammed pack with people offering their prayers (at least during the times I went and did my worshipping). Due to its reputation, many visitors flocked to the temple, offering joss sticks. Do take caution of the people pushing around with lighted joss sticks and the ashes falling from them. More than once I’ve been accidentally scalded by those people who are swinging the lighted joss sticks around, without a care for the safety of people around them. On a side note, the joss sticks are free and anyone can come by to offer their prayers.
Nevertheless, I would recommend people to drop by and visit the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple (often referred to as the Si Ma Lu Guan Yin temple due to the location, Waterloo Street being known as Si Ma Lu in Mandarin) one of the busiest and most reputed Chinese temples in Singapore, if they happen to be in the vicinity. You never know what the Gods might bless your life with!
Though I am not a Buddhist, I often accompany my mum here during certain days of the lunar calendar. The temple has a relatively large indoor area and a small corridor outside for people who are waiting.
There is a container outside of the temple for worshippers to donate joss sticks and it is always nice to see that it is never empty. Surrounding the temples are elderlies selling lottery tickets, joss sticks, lotus flowers, and there are small shops nearby selling vegetarian food.
For those who are wondering how a Buddhist temple looks like, this is a perfect place to explore as it is open to public. Just be considerate!!
To people familiar with the Bugis area, it's is not an uncommon sight to see people praying outside this small and unassuming temple. everyday at all times. This temple is strongly believed to bring worshipers good luck after praying to the Goddess Kuan Yin.
Personally, I find that this temple is an example of Chinese temple architecture and traditional craftsmanship. The entrance wall is a large central gateway flanked by two smaller ones and richly coloured. All deities are placed on a single altar in the prayer hall with the elevated statue of Sakyamuni Buddha positioned next to Kuan Yin.
The temple is known for its work towards charity and famous for providing treatment to anybody regardless of race or religion.