"In Singapore’s Chinatown you’ll find the beautiful Thian Hock Keng Temple, one of the city’s oldest Chinese temples. This temple is central to Singapore’s Chinese community and has been a part of Singapore’s history for centuries; even before the temple itself was built, it was the site of a shrine constructed by the first Chinese sailors to reach Singapore as thanks to Ma Zu, the goddess of the sea, for their safe arrival. The temple was built over the shrine much later, in 1842, paid for by Singapore’s Chinese community. And the money raised was well worth it – the Thian Hock Keng Temple is still one of the city’s best examples of traditional southern Chinese architecture, with its colorful, heavily detailed facade; beautiful tiles; dragon and phoenix statues; and doors guarded by statues of lions, tigers, and mythical creatures. Within the temple are statues of Ma Zu, the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, Confucius, and many others. The Thian Hock Keng Temple is one of the most interesting, beautiful, and important religious sites in Singapore, so be sure to include it in your visit."