Kiew Tien Keng Shrine or Saphan Hin Shrine in Saphan Hin Park, Phuket Town.
Sapan Hin is a park close to the sea sharing the history of being a significant trading port and for long time the only beach in Phuket Town. For many locals and visitors who come to Saphan Hin, the first stop is undoubtedly the beautiful Kiew Tien Keng Shrine. Since it’s a such a unique place, close to the sea, during the last day of the festivities surrounding the vegetarian festival it becomes the sending-off spot for all the deities and gods ascending to the Taoist heavens on the last night of the festival. It is the one temple where all the colorful processions from each individual shrine participating in the vegetarian festival end their journeys. It is also the place from where the participants are allowed to return to a normal diet after nine days of devotion.
The most surprising statue in this shrine is probably the silver one of Ji Gong (1130–1207), a Chinese Buddhist Monk who is revered as a deity in Chinese religion as well as a folk hero in Chinese culture. Ji Gong, who was born Li Xiuyuan, was an unorthodox Chan Monk. Chan translated in English means meditation; it is also a school of Mahayana Buddhism combined with Taoism which spread south to Vietnam as Thiền, east to Korea as Seon, and, in the 13th century, further east to Japan where it became known as Zen. Despite his wild and eccentric behavior as well as his disregard for monastic rules, such as the consumption of alcohol and meat, the folk stories nonetheless tell the devotees about Ji Gong supernatural powers and the way he was putting them to good use by standing up to injustice and helping the poor.
The other life-size statues placed within the shrines compound are the eight immortals of the Taoist tradition facing the sea. Usually you only find the figurine of Guan Yin inside the shrines, but here the enormous female Chinese statue of the goddess of Mercy stands tall inside an open white construction build especially by her followers.