The Chaomae Ya Nang Shrine, also known as the Ma Choe Poe Shrine and the Jao Chao Mae Shrine, is a Chinese temple located on the Krabi Road in Phuket Town.
The Chaomae Ya Nang Shrine is open to visitors from 06:00 to 18:00 everyday and admission is free.
About the Chaomae Ya Nang Shrine
The Chaomae Ya Nang Shrine was constructed in 1853 by a Chinese immigrant to Phuket. Phuket’s tin mining industry expanded dramatically in the 19th Century and this attracted a lot of Chinese immigrants, like Mr Lin Bun Soon who paid for the construction of the temple, to come and live and work on the island. These 19th Century immigrants brought with them their own culture and beliefs and their influence remains a distinctive feature of Phuket Town up to the present day.
Chaomae Ya Nang, or Ma Tsu in Chinese, is revered as the Goddess of the Sea in a number of Asian religions, particularly Taoism. Like many deities in the Taoist religious, Chaomae Ya Nang was real person who lived around 1,500 years ago in Fujian, China. The belief is that Chaomae Ya Nang had magical powers when she was alive and after her death became an important deity. Chaomae Ya Nang is considered the protector of fisherman, sailors and people travelling by sea which makes her important to people who live on an island and particularly important to people travelling long distances from China by boat to Phuket.
The Chaomae Ya Nang Shrine is a small temple consisting of a large gate, spacious courtyard and very small building housing the shrine to Chaomae Ya Nang, who is represented as a lady in a pink dress. The shrine is very important to the local community and there is an active association which looks after the shrine and organises regular religious celebrations in the grounds of the temple. One of the noticeable things about the Chaomae Ya Nang Shrine is the large area which has been left for the purposes of public gatherings in a location where land prices are high and there are very few open paces which has not been used for commercial development which is a good indicator of the shrine’s importance to local people.
Location of the Chaomae Ya Nang Shrine
- The Chaomae Ya Nang Shrine is located 1.6 km walking distance from Phuket Bus Terminal 1.