Kun Iam Temple
Mu Yi and I then continued on our way through an older area of Macau that is definitely one of my favorites. We wanted to drop in on the Ox Warehouse – a contemporary art house – but it’s closed in the morning (and now closed forever) so we kept going along Avenida do Coronel Mesquita to Kun Iam Temple.
Like Lin Fung Temple, Kun Iam Temple is one of the three Ancient Temples of Macau, and is dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy.
Built way back in the 13th Century, the rooftop is a colorful and chaotic clustering of porcelain figures, surely the most intricate one of its kind in Macau.
In the main hall there’s an altar devoted to Kun Iam which is flanked by 18 Gold Buddhas, one of which is said to be based on a likeness of Marco Polo, who practiced Buddhism in the temple.
There’s also quite a bit of impressive artwork displayed in the side chambers, more evidence of Kun Iam’s spiritual and historical significance.
Behind the temple, be sure to check out the large garden area, most famous for being the site where China and America signed the Treaty of Mong Ha in 1844.
The stone table and seats used by the diplomats can still be seen today.
Before leaving, make sure to rub the Buddha’s belly for good luck and fortune.
If temples are on your agenda when visiting Macau, then Kun Iam cannot be missed.
After Kun Iam, we stumbled onto another temple, the very bright and charming King of Medicine. The man who runs it was very friendly too after I asked him in Chinese if we could take pictures, and he led us around to the temple’s most important parts.
The Temple of the King of Medicine is not marked on any free Macau tourist map, so we were very lucky to have come across it.
Nowadays in 2020, the temple looks nothing as it did then, which is a shame considering how natural and artistic it used to be.
The interior was pretty boss as well.