2021 might have been stressful for a lot of us, some say “although the body survives from covid, mental health hits a coma”. Visiting a shrine to pray during ‘Vegetarian Festival’ can be a good idea to boost mental and physical health, as well as for good luck to yourself and your loved ones.
Let’s get your backpack and explore Phuket island, the city of the biggest Vegetarian Festival. As the Chinese god has its own power and strength, we’ve curated ‘9 Chinese shrines of Andaman’ according to your needs. Career, wealth, health, soulmate, relationship or even pregnancy, we have it all covered!
Although this year many ‘ahm’ or ‘Chinese temples’ have to follow the ‘New Normal’ rules and regulations, shrines in every corner of the island are still packed with devotees and believers of gods and goddesses. Guarantee that if you visit all 9 listed shrines, it’d make you feel “Peng-An, Peng-An” or in other words, ‘live safe and well’.
1. Kathu Shrine
Deity of the shrine : Tian Du Yuan Shuai (The god of performing arts)
Popular request : For recovering from sickness and being a loved one.
‘Kathu Shrine’ or ‘Lai Thu Tao Bo Keng’ is believed to be the origin of the famous vegetarian festival in Phuket. The legend says the mining industry has brought tons of Chinese labourers to Kathu, as well as a troupe of Chinese opera coming to perform in the district. Many people have fallen sick without any reason because of the epidemic all of sudden. The troupe decided to hold a vegetarian festival for 9 days 9 nights, where the consumption of meat was refrained in order to sacrifice to the deities. After the ritual, everyone recovered like magic which left everyone in an immense shock. Thus, the vegetarian festival has become the annual tradition for Kathu and Phuket people from then on.
Various statues of Chinese gods inside the shrine are waiting for visitors, one of them is ‘Tian Du Yuan Shuai’ or ‘Lao Ye’ which is the god of performing arts and the head god of the vegetarian festival. Therefore, paying homage to Lao Ye means going back to the start of the vegetarian festival. People tend to wish for health and being loved by everyone.
2. Pud Jor Shrine and Jui Tui Shrine
Deity of the shrine : Granny Pud Jor and Granny Zhu Sheng Niang Niang (The goddess of mercy and the goddess of fatality)
Popular request : Pregnancy and soulmate
Location : https://goo.gl/maps/Jh3nAzZ9XTP1kar89
Pud Jor Shrine and Jui Tui Shrine is a 2-in-1 stop, as the annex is connected with each other. Many people favor visiting both places to receive blessings and auspice in only one visit.
The goddess of Mercy ‘Granny Pud Jor’ or as known as ‘Guan Yin’ and ‘Zhu Sheng Niang Niang’, the goddess of childbirth are enshrined inside ‘Pud Jor Shrine’. If you wish to have little ones or wish to meet your significant others, you might like to come and tell the grannies your wish. Who knows, maybe your request would be fulfilled sooner. Further to this, Pud Jor Shrine is also known for its Chinese medicine prescription service. It offers fortune telling sticks labelled with medicine recipes, which you can take your prescription to the herbal store after drawing the lots.
Before heading back, let’s stop by ‘Jui Tui Shrine’. During the vegetarian festival, Jui Tui Shrine holds the annual ritual such as ‘fire-walking ceremony’ and ‘spiritual power exhibition’ which involves piercing different parts of the bodies with swords and blades. It’s another highlight that cannot be missed!
3. Bang Neaw Shrine
Diety of the shrine : Sam Tong Ong (The trio deities)
Popular request : Career development (especially for governors) and prosperity
Location : https://goo.gl/maps/U1oqUFtdKEbzbv5q9
Another ancient temple of Phuket established in 1904 and has participated in vegetarian festivals for a very long time. Bang Neaw Shrine or Theprasi Foundation is enshrined with ‘Sam Tong Ong’ or 3 noblemen who are honest and loyal to their home land. The trio deities rest on the firm belief of the Thai-Chinese in Phuket and are admired as a role model.
Phuket people tend to make work-related wishes to the trio, as it is believed that they would help in prosperous commerce, career promotion, along with being loved by attendants. It is a must-visit for those who work as governors or magistrates!
4. Lhor Rong Shrine
Deity of the shrine : Cho Su Kong (The Taoist priest)
Popular request : Life protection
Location : https://goo.gl/maps/jEeEYk3r84q556Rp8
‘Lhor Rong Shrine’ or ‘Sui Boon Tong Shrine’ is built with faith and admiration in Cho Su Kong of the founders. Cho Su Kong is a Taoist priest who practiced the Taoist precepts diligently and helped out villagers with difficulties. All the good deeds and mercy led him to have a lot of worshippers who always come to ask him to blow away all the sorrows and dangers. If anyone is worried about career, finance or relationships, you can stop by to gain positive motivation.
5. Sang Tham Shrine
Deity of the shrine : Ong Sun Tai Sai (The god of knowledge and wisdom)
Popular request : Prosperous career, untroubled life, Prudential – do not have to worry about scammers!
Location : https://goo.gl/maps/YTJXMVifwsGN2orz8
‘Sang Tham Shrine’ or ‘Teng Kong Tong’ was built in 1891 by Luang Amnat Nararak where the ‘Ong Sun Tai Sai’ is enshrined. This deity is well-known for being an all-rounder, thus, people like to ask for a successful career and to overcome obstacles in life. Guarantee that if you have a chance to visit the shrine once, both your mental and physical conditions will be fully charged to the max.
This shrine is not only known for religious purposes, but also famous for its breathtaking architectural beauty. The Chino architecture was styled throughout the shrine. The Hokkian style house is seen with the roof decorated with cement dragon and Chinese dolls. Along with the antique painting on both sides of the wall, telling the story about ‘Xue Rengui’, aka the legend of Ong Sun Tai Sai. You will get to receive good luck and explore arts all in one place!
6. Mae Ya Nang Shrine
Deity of the shrine : Ma Jor Bo (The goddess of the ocean)
Popular request : Save journey and maritime safety
Location : https://goo.gl/maps/TnW4vkv25z5nYCHo6
‘Mae Ya Nang Shrine’ or ‘Sam San Tian Hou Gong Shrine’ is the shrine of ‘Ma Jor Bo’, who is known for her intelligence, prophet and accurate weather forecast. With this being said, seafarers worship her as a tutelary goddess of the sea. She is also generally worshipped by Phuket people, as it is believed that she always protects and saves her believers from danger in after time.
7. Sam Gong Shrine
Deity of the shrine : Lin Fu Tai Shi (The grand tutor Lin)
Popular request : Success in education, career development and intelligence mentality.
Location : https://goo.gl/maps/KodLUymnHQ8EyQaB9
‘Sam Gong Shrine’ or ‘Lin Fu Tai Shi Shrine’ is a medium-sized shrine located in the middle of Phuket city. At first glance, it may look like a newly built shrine with its modern structure and vivid red roof. In fact, Sam Gong Shrine has a long history of over a century. A big renovation in 1994 is a good explanation of its modern look.
It is the place of worship of ‘Lin Fu Tai Shi’. People praised him as an intelligent and well-rounded scholar, hence he was once chosen to be supervisor of the crown prince. His loyalty, virtue and majestic appearance led him to be reverenced and cherished especially among students. It is believed that he would bless the success in education, as well as career path. If you are looking forward to taking higher education, shifting your career path, or position promotion, you should not miss visiting!
8. Sa Pum Shrine
Deity of the shrine : Guan Teh Gun (The god of war)
Popular request : Empower positive energy and business prosperity
Location : https://goo.gl/maps/WpHvPy6YZUcnASWN8
If you’d like to empower the positivity or wish your business to blow up, ‘Sa Pam Shrine’ must be the destination! ‘Guan Teh Gun’ or ‘Guan Yu’ is named to be a skillful and heroic military general. He was fierce in the battle yet full of justice. His definite decision and loyalty is second to none. In this respect, the popularity of Guan Yu among businessmen and entrepreneurs has emerged, as it is believed that his aura would help the business to gain wealth.
Apart from the sanctity of Guan Yu, the legend of Sa Pum Shrine itself is also impressive. The not-too-small-but-not-so-big shrine was built with adhesion and unity of villagers. Though 120 years have passed, local people in the area still visit and help taking care of the shrine invariably. So, if you want prosperity in your career or want to feel Guan Yu’s holiness, do not forget to pay the shrine a visit!
9. Tha Rua Shrine
Deity of the shrine : Bao Sheng Da Di (God of medicine)
Popular request : Healthy and active life (immune from covid-19)
Location : https://goo.gl/maps/EjJyonihMsAV2bRQA
In the middle of the covid-19 outbreak, a lot of people might be concerned about their health. Although we have been aware of the virus and washed our hands to the point that skins start to peel off, we just cannot stop being so anxious, right? If you are also facing this situation, this last recommendation is for you. ‘Tha Rua Shrine’ is a colourful shrine located near the monument of Thao Thep Kasattri and Thao Si Sunthon. According to legend, he was born in a medical expert family, so he picked up the knowledge of medicine from a young age. He was ingenious and very wise to use his gifted talent to cure the diseased and sick, and finally got promoted to be an imperial doctor.
With his ability to cure all the sickness, he was praised and credited to be ‘A Miracle Doctor’. Hence, it is not a surprise why people from every corner would come here to wish for a healthy and active life. If you wish to stay safe from covid-19, it might be worth paying this shrine a visit!