A significant shrine in Phuket Town
Hok Nguan Kong Shrine is a Chinese temple near the Surin Clock Circle in Phuket Town. It was founded more than 80 years ago by the Chinese-Thai community in Phuket. From the 1800s, well into the 20th century, thousands of migrants from China arrived in Phuket to work in the tin mines and establish merchant businesses. Though many migrants settled in Phuket and integrated with the local Thai community, they held onto some Chinese traditions passed down through the generations.
Hok Nguan Kong Shrine is just one example of the lasting influence of Chinese migration on the local culture – look around Phuket Town, and you’ll find several more, including Bang Neow Shrine, Jui Tui Shrine and Sang Tham Shrine (or Shrine of the Serene Light).
About Hok Nguan Kong Shrine
Hok Nguan Kong Shrine’s design features many traditional Chinese motifs, including columns wrapped with large dragon images, wall murals with tigers, and bright red and yellow colours throughout. The first view of the shrine from the street looks imposing, with the shrine’s large entry arch featuring four red columns wrapped by serpentine golden dragons.
The most important sacred object in the shrine is a black sandalwood statue of the Ju Su Kong deity. Ju Su Kong was born more than 800 years ago during the Song Dynasty. He was ordained as a Buddhist priest who became known for his commitment to community service and dedication to improving public transport networks like roads and bridges. After his death, his devoted followers honoured him as a deity.
Visiting Hok Nguan Kong Shrine
Hok Nguan Kong Shrine is found about halfway between the Old Town area of Phuket and Saphan Hin public park opposite the Metropole Hotel. The area attracts many locals who come to eat at the tasty and cheap restaurants nearby including the long-running Mee Ton Poe restaurant, famous for its Hokkien noodle dishes.
The shrine’s location shows the diversity of Phuket, as it’s found a short distance away from a Catholic church, the Yameay Mosque, and a few Thai Buddhist temples including Wat Thawon Khunaram. A larger Chinese shrine, Bang Neow Shrine, is found about 500 metres down the road from this shrine.
Entry to the shrine is free, but donations to help with its upkeep are welcome. On most days the temple is quiet, though on Chinese holidays like the Lunar New Year and the Phuket Vegetarian Festival it will be much busier.
Hok Nguan Kong Shrine Info
Location: Phuket Town
Address: Surin Clock Circle, Mueang Phuket, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000
Hours: 8 am – 6 pm
Hok Nguan Kong Shrine Map