Yueh Hai Ching Temple: A Heritage Site Also Known As "The Love Temple"

Yueh Hai Ching Temple: A Heritage Site Also Known As “The Love Temple”

Pay a visit to Yueh Hai Ching Temple, a historic Teochew temple in Singapore where you can admire the intricate interior and exterior, or even seek love!

For lovelorn singles who have experimented with online dating, friends’ matchmaking or even resorted to fengshui tips to boost love luck, a temple in Raffles Place might just be the answer to meeting your soulmate.

As a multicultural city with Chinese as the majority race, Singapore has no lack of iconic Chinese temples for devotees or tourists to visit. Yet one temple often off peoples’ radar is the historical Yueh Hai Ching temple, an awardee of the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage award, which comes complete with gold gilding, historic ornamentation and ceramic figurines that depict Chinese classics.

As if these are not enough reasons for anyone to visit, it is even the much lauded “Love Temple” in Singapore, the go-to place for any love seekers eager for Yue Lao’s blessings. Therefore, to singles lamenting about your non-existent love life, it might be time to head to this temple along Philip street!

Built in 1826, Yueh Hai Ching temple, also known as Wak Hai Ching Bio in Teochew dialect, is the oldest Teochew temple in Singapore. Built by early Teochew Chinese immigrants to thank the Goddess of the Sea, Mazu, for their safe passage to Singapore, this Teochew temple has since seen a change in its devotees from sailors to love-seekers.

There are two halls in the temple, with Tian Hou Gong occupying the left hall and Shang Di Gong occupying the right hall for devotees to pay respects to Mazu and Xuan Tian Shang Di (Heavenly Father) respectively. The famous Yue Lao idol sits in the right hall, his neck adorned by numerous red strings hung by hopeful singles. Known as the deity of love and marriage in Chinese mythology, Yue Lao is said to appear at night under the moon where he unites all predestined couples with a red string.

If you would like a bit of good luck from Yue Lao too, just get a red string from the temple and mutter a prayer before hanging this string around Yue Lao’s neck. You will need to offer a $12 red packet in which the money goes towards the temple. You can also bring along mooncakes to offer to the deity.

Of course, Yueh Hai Ching temple is not just all about love. Since you are already at the temple, why not take the time to admire its intricate ornamentation which underwent a $7.5 million restoration and earned it a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage award?

Built in the typology of Teochew traditional Chinese architectural style, its richly ornamented roof, timber carvings, dragon and tiger 3D walls and meticulously sculpted ceramic figurines are a magnificent sight to behold.

One of the most notable features of the Yueh Hai Ching Temple is its roof which is decorated with detailed ceramic figurines that depict popular Chinese legends. In fact, they look very much like puppets from a Teochew opera and were painstakingly recreated by Shantou craftsmen using a traditional Teochew technique known as cut-and-paste porcelain shard work.

The tiger and dragon frescoes adorning the walls of the inner halls are also very eye-catching, partly due to its bold colours and 3D effect. Before you leave the temple, don’t forget to take a good look at the exquisite stone and wood carvings which convey popular folklores as well.

Whether you are a devotee who wants to pay your respects to the deities, or an architectural buff who wants to admire this century-old heritage landmark, Yueh Hai Ching temple has much to offer. Do drop by this temple the next time you are in the area!

Address: 30B Philip Street
Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to 5pm
Directions: Alight at Telok Ayer MRT station, step out from exit B and walk along Telok Ayer street before turning into Philip street.

About Author


YQ loves to travel and embraces opportunities to live overseas where she gets to take in the sights and sounds of different countries from a local's perspective. A Singaporean currently based in the States, she blogs about her observations of the American culture and her travels at Chasing Carefree.


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