30 Apr 2017

Noble House: Tin Hau Temple - Repulse Bay

In the brilliant mini series Noble House from 1988, covered earlier on this blog, Pierce Brosnan plays Ian Struan Dunross, the Tai Pan of one of the largest shipping companies in Hong Kong. When the Tai Pan finds himself in financial difficulties, he contacts the opium smuggler Four-finger Wu to ask him for a loan. They meet secretly at what appears to be an old Chinese temple on an island outside of Hong Kong. Four-finger arrives on a boat from his home in Aberdeen.

The Tai Pan meets with Four-finger Wu at the temple

The location however, can be found in Repulse Bay on the south side of Hong Kong Island. The temple is called Tin Hau Temple and even though you get the impression that the temple is located far from the city, you can find it right next to the beach in Repulse Bay. Today, there are condos and a large mall built right behind the temple.

The location however, is still very recognisable today although the fish seen to the left has been painted yellow. During our visit people desperately threw coins into the mouth of the fish, trying to get them to stay there (supposedly for good luck).

Repulse Bay is just a short bus ride from the Central district. The bay is spectacularly located framed by the mountains overgrown with high end condominiums and town houses. The symbolic for having the Tai Pan meeting Four-finger Wu at this location probably has to do with the history of Repulse Bay being an old pirate refuge, later "repulsed" by the British, hence its name.

The temple is named after one of Hong Kong's beloved gods, Tin Hau. Tin Hau is the Goddess of the Sea, overseeing and protecting fishermen and a large statue of Tin Hau can be found here.

Also seen in the film is an inscription on a stone plate, stating:

"Each time you cross this bridge your life will be prolonged 3 days"

This stone plate is placed on a bridge next to the temple, and can still be found on location today, on the same bridge. This is the Longevity Bridge which you must cross to add three days to your life.

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