It stands alongside the Tin Hau temple so you can see both at the same time. The main doors on the left belong to the Kwan Tai temple and next to it, on the right, is the much smaller Tin Hau temple. Both are free to enter.
Kwan Tai is a much more fearsome god than his neighbour, Tin Hau (goddess of the sea). Kwan Tai, the God of War, is a force to be reckoned with. Red-faced and with a long, black flowing beard, he definitely looks like someone you don't want to cross. You can see his statue in the centre of the shrine at the back of the temple.
Historically, he was a loyal and courageous general who worked his way to a position of great renown until ultimately he was recognised as having divine status and became revered as a deity.
One of the curious things about him is that he is the patron of both the police and the triads.
From the outside the temple is a little plain, with dull, grey/white tiles and a classic dark green ceramic tiled roof. However, it’s worth taking a few minutes to step inside to see the rich red and gold colours of the shrine, the bowls of fruit and offerings laid out before the gods and the atmospheric, smoky incense.
Tai O's oldest temple, raised in the 15th century (Ming dynasty), is dedicated to Kwan Tai, a deified general known as the God of War. It was renovated in the Qing dynasty, with donations by court officials and Tai O merchants, whose names are etched on stone slabs inside the temple. Features introduced by the renovations include a copper bell and ornate roof decorations. The latter were made in Shiwan, a Chinese town synonymous with pottery. A red-faced Kwan Tai stands in the main hall. A symbol of valiance and loyalty, he is worshipped by fishers and farmers, as well as merchants, gangsters and the disciplinary forces.
To reach the temple and the stilt houses, cross the bridge from the mainland to the island, walk up Tai O Market St and go right at the Fook Moon Lam restaurant. Kwan Tai Temple is the third of four temples visited during the Tai O Dragon Boat Water Parade.