Thean Hou is a lovely Buddhist temple in the classical Chinese style, built on several levels. We had a private tour guide (well worth it if you are travelling with family - our private guide for 3 people was cheaper than 3 seats on a group tour bus) who told us the history and interesting details about the temple.
The gardens out front feature lots of statuary, including a garden of sculptures representing the Chinese horoscope.
But the best part was out the back, a gorgeous shady pond area full of tortoises. It seems some people believe tortoises represent longevity, so when a child is born, the family buys a little tortoise and donates it to the temple, to wish the child a long life. A lovely tradition, and the tortoises are well fed and cared for. While we were there, some visitor had tried to feed the tortoises bread - please don't do this, bread is not good for them and they are well fed on proper greens twice a day.
Our guide said we could pick up the wee tortoises and admire them - my sons loved this interactive experience - even going so far as to step carefully into their enclosure to choose an animal, then step quickly out. It was good to have a local person advise us on whether this was OK, or we might not have attempted it for fear of being told off. Actually, without our guide, we would never have known the tortoise enclosure was there, or the charming story behind it.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.