Fodor's Expert Review Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple
The dusty, incense-filled interior of this popular temple has altars heaped with hundreds of small statues of gods from the Chinese pantheon. Of the hundreds of Chinese deities, Kwan Im, more often known as Kuan Yin, is perhaps most dear to the hearts of Singaporeans. Legend has it that just as she was about to enter Nirvana, she heard a plaintive cry from Earth. Filled with compassion, she gave up her place in paradise to devote herself to alleviating the pain of those on Earth; thereupon, she took the name Kuan Yin, meaning "to see and hear all." People in search of advice on anything from an auspicious date for a marriage to possible solutions for domestic or work crises come to the Kwan Im temple, shake cham si (bamboo fortune sticks), and wait for an answer. The gods are most receptive on days of a new or full moon.