Located just a ten-minute drive from Cebu city, in the subdivision of Cebu also known as the Beverley Hills area of Cebu is the incredible Taoist Temple.
Taoist Temple was built in the 1970s by the substantial Chinese community with the entrance being built as a replica of the Great Wall Of China. The temple is free to visit, however, not all areas are open to the public. Instead, some are reserved solely for worship.
We had the pleasure of visiting Taoist Temple on a private tour of Cebu which we booked using Grab (an alternative to Uber in S.E. Asia). However, you can just as easily visit the temple independently as a tourist.
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How To Get To Taoist Temple Cebu
Unfamiliar with Habal-Habals we decided to get a Grab (S.E. Asia’s take on Uber) and went on a five-hour mountain tour which can be booked from the Grab mobile application.
The tour cost us 2,250 PHP for an air-conditioned taxi (which actually turned out to be a van that could have seated 12).
Pro Tip: Booking a similar transport service on Klook is significantly cheaper at 500 PHP per person
This price is based on 2 people sharing visiting 3 locations in the mountains and being collected from JY Mall.
We would have booked this however, you need to give 48 hours notice. Instead, we wanted to book and leave just a few hours later.
While we paid more than the cost of a habal-habal from the Cebu city we benefitted from the convenience of being picked up and dropped off outside of our accommodation while also being able to visit other nearby attractions.
Alternatively, if you do want the more authentic route, you’ll want to head to JY Square Mall which is located around one mile from Cebu I.T. Park.
From there you can take a Habal-Habal to Taoist Temple Cebu and other popular tourist attractions in the area.
There’s no set price for a Habal-Habal, and sadly the more of a ‘tourist’ you look, the more the drivers will try and charge. You can easily haggle with the drivers to get the price lower if you believe you’re being overcharged based on the prices we’ve highlighted above.
Due to the temple being located in the private subdivision of Lahug, Cebu City habal-habals are not permitted past the first gate. You can still get a habal-habal to the temple but you would be required to walk from the sub-gate to the temple itself.
Taoist Temple Entry Cost
The temple was free to enter.
Guide To Taoist Temple Cebu
The temple was built in 1970 by the substantial Chinese community. There are two temples the first was built and one is unfortunately not open to the public and the other is the temple you can visit.
The temple and the centre of worship are Taoism which originated from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher, Lao Zi. The worshipers perform rituals at the temple.
One of these is to pray to the God’s to grant one’s wish. To do this you would need to enter the temple, wash your hands and take off your shoes. From here you’ll drop two blocks of wood onto the floor. If both blocks land face up you are permitted to grant your wish.
If the blocks don’t land face up then it is a sign that it is not yet time for your wish to be granted and you should come back another time.
Another ritual that occurs is that worshipers would climb the 181 steps which represent the 81 chapters of Taoism scriptures. At the top, you would light joss sticks and have your fortune read by a monk.
Taoist Temple was our first stop on our tour so we got there fairly early around 9 – 9.15 am. The temple was very quiet and peaceful which was a great way to experience the temple.
The temple entrance was built as a replica of the Great Wall Of China. The details of the architecture are fantastic and very true to temples you would see in China. The gondola style roofs are decorated with ornate dragons in bright colours.
Pro Tip: Try going to the temple early morning as the sun is not yet at peak and you will beat many of the crowds.
The temple is built within the hills and so it requires 84 steps up to the main area. The climb is totally worth it even just for the view.
At the top, there is the main area in which you can find the souvenir shop, toilets and the main worship area. You can also see different levels one of which is a large open space and a balcony like area in which you can take in the view.
Pro Tip: Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and preferably flat as some of the steps are slippery and worn away.
There are a number of rooms in which you can enter for worship. The main one is at the top of the stairs and is the largest. There are smaller worship rooms located on the higher levels of the temple grounds.
Pro Tip: If you wish to enter the main worship temple make sure you have your shoulders covered and trousers.
There are public toilets within the temple located to the left side of the main building by the gift shop.
Where To Eat Near Taoist Temple Cebu
Food and drink are not permitted inside the temple grounds. There are a number of places you can visit before or after for food.
I personally suggest heading to Cebu I.T park as there are plenty of cafes like Bo’s coffee or restaurants such as The Pyramid. There is also the mall which has shops, boutiques and plenty of places to eat.
If you are following a route from the Taoist Temple Cebu to the Sirago Flower Garden or Temple of Leah there are plenty of street food vendors along the way.
Alternatively, we ate at the Top Of Cebu restaurant a short drive from Sirago Flower Garden.
The food was great and the prices were very reasonable. The view is also worth visiting the Top Of Cebu even if just for the view.