178 Waterloo St, Singapore
The Kuan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple is one of the most popular temples in Singapore, attracting an estimated 1,000 devotees every day. The temple is dedicated to the Kuan Yin (also called Guanyin), the goddess of mercy and is seen by devotees as a saviour, hence her popularity. The Temple provided refuge for the sick, wounded and homeless during World War II as it was miraculously spared destruction during the Japanese air force bombings, despite the near-total destruction of virtually all the adjacent buildings. Devotees attribute this miracle to the compassion of Kuan Yin.
The most popular time to visit the temple is on the 1st and 15th days of the lunar calendar. Keep a look out for devotees kneeling before the deities seeking divine intervention in the important decisions in their lives with the help of "Qian" or fortune sticks. The temple's most festive time is the eve of Chinese New Year when it is open all night long, and people turn up in their thousands to offer incense to the goddess of mercy for an auspicious start to the year.