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Pak Tai Temple - A Historical Building in Cheung Chau, Hong Kong

Pak Tai TemplePak Tai Temple, also referred to as Yuk Hui Temple, is a Taoist shrine dedicated to Pak Tai, the God of the Sea who is revered among the local fishing community as their protector. The temple is located at Pak She Street, Tung Wan, in the island of Cheung Chau, Hong Kong. The temple is believed to be built in 1783, making it the oldest temple on the island. It is now listed as Grade 1 historical building by the Antiquities Advisory Committee.

According to a local legend, early settlers from Guangdong province brought an image of Pak Tai with them to Cheung Chau and, when the statue was carried through the village, Cheung Chau was spared from the plague that had decimated the populations of nearby islands. To give thanks, the locals build a temple and dedicated it to the saviour.

The temple features traditional Chinese structure with colorful ceramic tiles and roof as well as animal images such as guardian lion stones. It has a spacious main hall where a statue of Pak Tai statue is enshrined. There are two smaller halls at each side of the main hall. Aside from Pak Tai, there are also staues of other deities such as Tai Sui (the Sixty Gods of Time), Kwun Yum (Goddess of Mercy) and All Saints.

It is also the home of several important historical and cultural relics such as a big Song Dynasty sword, some whale bone fragments, a wooden sedan chair made in 1894, two granite pillars carved with dragons in 1903, and a pair of incense burners donated by the Chinese Temples Committee to commemorate the visit of Mr. Burgess, the then Officer Administering the Government, in 1959.

People flock to the temple during the Pak Tai Festival which falls on the third day of the third lunar month to for thanks giving and to ask for blessings. The temple is also the venue of the annual Bun Festival (or Ching Chiu in Cantonese) which is highlighted by a competition of collecting the most number of buns from the bun towers. There are also a procession with children in colorful dresses balancing on props and stilts as well as traditional Chinese theatrical performances.

The temple is open daily, from 7:00am to 5:00pm, and can be reached by taking the ferry to Cheung Chau at the Central Outlying Islands Pier. It is a short distance to the left of the Cheung Chau ferry pier.

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