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Tin How Temple

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Address: 125 Waverly Place, San Francisco, CA 94108

A temple where tourists can light incense at the gilded shrine of Tien Hua,...

A temple where tourists can light incense at the gilded shrine of Tien Hua, Protector of Travelers.

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A snapshot in time of an old Cantonese temple

Situated in the Chinatown of San Francisco, walking into the temple is like going back in time. It could almost be in any similar temple in Hong Kong. You can see some of the very... read more

Reviewed 20 January 2017
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21 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 20: English reviews
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2017

Situated in the Chinatown of San Francisco, walking into the temple is like going back in time. It could almost be in any similar temple in Hong Kong. You can see some of the very old carvings and traditions. Interestingly, if you can speak Cantonese, it is a very easy way to open a conversation. More so if you want... More 

Thank taovictor
Level Contributor
21 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviewed 27 October 2016

It's very hidden, so you have to look for it on the internet. It's exciting to see a piece of culture so different to ours in the Western Hemisphere... It's a very small place, you have to go 3 floors up to get to the place. Very small, and the decoration is still amazing... candles, things handing... red and gold.... More 

Thank Omi U
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
956 reviews
553 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 332 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2016

Some people who are not familiar with buddhism, taoism or any other spiritually may find this place boring with nothing to note for. For others, they can appreciate the climb up the stairs and spend a few minutes to view the decors, offerings and colorful surroundings. Photos are prohibited. Observe silence. This is rather tiny and narrow. It does not... More 

1 Thank Indiana_Jonesse
Ladson, South Carolina
Level Contributor
56 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2016

we climbed 3 flights of stairs to see this, wasn't worth it!! It's hard to find & when you find it, there is no explanation of anything there

Thank crieder58
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
178 reviews
93 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2016

We visited the temple as part of a tour we were taking with Wild SF. The views were great from the top. The temple itself was very pretty. Lots of red lanterns hanging from the ceiling. They did not allow photos of them though. We were glad to have our guide with us because he was able to explain the... More 

1 Thank nikolaik
Woodbridge, Virginia
Level Contributor
59 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2016

We visited here during a walking tour of Chinatown, it was an amazing experience. I suggest visiting with a guide who will explain the traditions and significance of the religious rites.

Thank reberiffic
Escondido, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2015

We went because it was on our walking tour sheet we picked up from the hotel. I guess to say you've been there is okay, but I wouldn't make a special trip.

Thank sbaker2015
Level Contributor
124 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2015 via mobile

We had to use GPS on my phone to find. When GPS showed we were there, we still didn't see it. But because we had read all the trip advisor reports, we knew it was hard to find so we stayed put and played I spy lol. We had a good laugh when we looked up and the sign was... More 

Thank Amber G
Derby, Kansas
Level Contributor
515 reviews
162 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2015

While visiting Chinatown, we wanted our 2 teenage granddaughters to see a Chinese temple. It was difficult to find Tin How Temple since there was just a doorway with the name on top. We started climbing steps in what looked like a residential apartment. Forging ahead, at the top of the third floor you could smell the incense in this... More 

Thank NancyinDerby
Level Contributor
34 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2015

After climbing a staircase (and reading various things that we can't do in the temple) we entered it and were told: "No children!" and asked to leave. Strange I didn't know that I look like a child (there were only two of us, me and my wife). Very bad experience, if they don't want visitors they should state that at... More 

5 Thank krzyk

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Staying in Chinatown

Neighbourhood Profile
As the oldest in North America, San Francisco's Chinatown is an exotic experience. A unique neighbourhood decorated with colourful shops, historic streetlights, hanging lanterns, and pagoda roofs awaits behind the stone-carved dragon gates. Feast on dim sum at the tea houses, or meet the locals who gather at historic Portsmouth Square to play chess or practice Tai Chi. Fish markets, produce stands, tourist shops, jewelry stores, fortune tellers, temples and restaurants come together to create a world unto itself in this historic neighbourhood.
Explore this neighbourhood