10 places Malaysians can visit to find love, luck and good fortune

10 places Malaysians can visit to find love, luck and good fortune
By ANNDREA A. WEBBER
GLOBAL
Monday, 28 Feb 2022

8:05 AM MYT

Records in 2014 show that over 700,000 love locks have been attached to the Pont des Arts in Paris since 2008. — Photos: Wikimedia Commons

There are many reasons why people love to travel. Many journey far and wide in pursuit of something new and exciting, like a grand adventure or once-in-a-lifetime experience.

And for some, it’s all about finding fortune, as well as finding the perfect fairytale romance.

After two years of living in a pandemic, we could all use some optimism and luck in our lives. What better way to obtain good fortune than visiting some of the most popular places believed to make all your dreams come true?

The Trevi Fountain
According to folks at PsychicWorld.com, the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy is perhaps the best destination to visit for good fortune this year, boasting a “popular” score of 9.5 out of 10.

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This fountain, designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed in 1762, is Rome’s largest and arguably the most beautiful fountain in the world.

Rumour has it that those seeking good fortune should close their eyes and toss a coin over their left shoulder, using their right hand. Doing this will allegedly bring you luck and a return trip to Rome in the future.

Meanwhile, tossing two coins will help you find love in Rome whereas tossing three will guarantee marriage with a person you’ve met.

The Hagia Sophia
Why wait for a shooting star to make a wish when you can visit the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey?

Completed in the year 537 AD, the Hagia Sophia has been demolished and reconstructed multiple times. Over the course of its history, it has been a church, museum and mosque. The over 50m tall structure is regarded as one of the best architectural places of worship in the world.

The centrepiece of this marvellous building is its golden dome embellished with intricate patterns. This dome is said to be one of the many iconic symbols of Istanbul.

The Hagia Sophia also houses a bronze hole called the “weeping column” which visitors can stick and rotate their thumb into, in a perfect circle. Legend has it that those who get their finger wet when doing this will have their wish granted.

Hoover Dam
Maybe storming into Area 51 might not be the best choice if you’re hunting an alien in Nevada in the United States. Alternatively, you can visit the Hoover Dam which is located in the same state.

This 221m-tall dam was built between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression. Its popularity among tourists is thanks to the winged bronze statues it houses at its entrance.

These statues, known as the Winged Figures of the Republic, are enormous, standing over 9m high. It’s said that people who rub the feet of these figures will be blessed with good fortune.

Fun fact: The feet of these winged statues have been rubbed so many times for good luck, the bronze has actually turned into a golden hue.

Charles Bridge
Gothic and baroque architectural styles meet at this bridge in the lively city of Prague, Czech Republic. Built in the early 15th century, Charles Bridge is the oldest stone bridge in Europe.

Tourists often touch the statue of St John of Nepomuk on Charles Bridge in Prague for good fortune.
Tourists often touch the statue of St John of Nepomuk on Charles Bridge in Prague for good fortune.
It is also considered by many to be the most famous bridge in Prague.

A total of 30 statues are erected on either side the pathway. These figures play a significant part in drawing tourists in as it is widely believed each statue has its own fortune to grant visitors.

The St John of Nepomuk statue, which was the first sculpture built on this bridge, is the oldest and only bronze figure here.

Rumour has it that people who touch this statue will have good luck and a return trip to Prague.

Blarney Castle
Having trouble finding the right words to say? Try kissing the Blarney Stone. This carboniferous limestone was first built into the walls of Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland in 1446.

According to folklore, kissing the stone upside down in a prone position will grant visitors the power of speech. This tale involves the goddess Clíodhna and Cormac Laidir MacCarthy. The latter was embroiled in a lawsuit and pleaded to Clíodhna for guidance.

The goddess advised him to kiss the very first stone he found on his way to court. He followed her advice which resulted in him pleading his case with astounding eloquence.

Today, many tourists worldwide would drop by to give this stone a peck. Winston Churchill was reportedly one of the famous figures who have kissed this stone.

Fushimi Inari-taisha
Boasting over 1,300 years of history, the Fushimi Inari-taisha in southern Kyoto, Japan is the most important shrine for over 30,000 Inari shrines around Japan. As head shrine for Inari, the most powerful deity in Japan, it is no surprise many believe anything related to prosperity falls under its domain.

Travellers seeking prosperity can visit the Okushahohai-sho hall. Here, they will be greeted by two rocks that have the ability to predict the likelihood of one’s success. Curious tourists who wish to try their luck can place a small donation and make a wish. If the rock picked up is lighter than expected, the probability of said wish coming true is high.

Omamori (Japanese good luck charms) can also be found throughout the shrine.

Sensoji Temple
Founded in 654 AD, Sensoji is Tokyo’s oldest temple and houses the sacred statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, in Japan. For centuries, hundreds of pilgrims would visit this temple to pray and offer blessings to the Kannon statue located in the main hall.

First-time travellers might get confused approaching the temple’s entrance as there will be many people circling around a massive incense burner. It is believed that bathing in the smoke and rubbing incense on an aching body part will heal wounds and improve one’s health.

Surrounded by spectacular vermilion gates, bustling stalls, and an enormous five-storey pagoda, visiting this place is a must in Japan.

Pont des Arts
One of the loveliest attractions Paris has to offer is the Pont des Arts or the Love Locks Bridge. This beautiful pedestrian bridge built in 1984 acts as a link between the Institut de France and the central square of the Louvre.

Records in 2014 show that over 700,000 love locks have been attached to the Pont des Arts in Paris since 2008. — Photos: Wikimedia Commons
Records in 2014 show that over 700,000 love locks have been attached to the Pont des Arts in Paris since 2008. — Photos: Wikimedia Commons

It is famous for being the destination couples visit to do a very special ritual. Since 2008, many lovebirds would attach locks on the bridge’s grate before throwing the key into the river as a sign of endless devotion.

In February 2014, an estimated 700,000 locks were attached to the bridge. This raised concern among authorities who expressed that the weight of the locks could damage the bridge’s structure. A year later, on June 1, 2015, the locks were removed in stages by city authorities.

In 2016, the locks were put on sale, with all the proceeds said to go to organisations and individuals whose charitable work was in solidarity of the refugees in Paris. Locks that weren’t sold were then melted and repurposed.

Today, it is against the law to attach locks on the bridge, but tourists are encouraged to visit the iconic place, and take pictures.

Charging Bull
The Charging Bull, famously known as the Wall Street Bull, is a heavy bronze figure (it weighs over 3,000kg!) erected in the bustling complex of New York City in the US. It symbolises the might of New York where anyone can succeed as long as they work hard.

Aside from being a representation of “the spirit of Americans”, this iconic sculpture is believed to bring wealth and prosperity.

Unlike other destinations, the method of drawing luck here is a bit more peculiar: you have to rub the bull in the rear by its testicles.

Although it is awkward to be spotted doing such a thing, many tourists are actually bold enough to do it. The things people do for luck, right?

Casa di Giulietta
Literary lovers would probably recognise this location in Verona, Italy. Rumoured to be the location that inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet, Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s Castle) attracts thousands of people who wish to seek love.

The statue of Juliet is the main highlight at Casa di Giulietta in Verona.
The statue of Juliet is the main highlight at Casa di Giulietta in Verona.
A bronze statue of Juliet is erected in the middle of the courtyard and is said to be a symbol of Verona. According to legend, those who wish to find romance need to rub or hold the statue’s right breast. In 2014, however, the statue was moved to the Castelvecchio Museum due to damage from being rubbed too much.

A copy of the statue still stands for those wishing to have a fair share of the star-crossed lovers’ pure romance.

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