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Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

I found myself heading towards Diamond Hill on my second morning in Hong Kong, in search of the Chi Lin Nunnery and the Nan Lian Garden, for something more traditional and away from the gleaming towers in the Central district. For anyone travelling by public transportation, the access of the Chi Lin Nunnery is easiest through the Nan Lian Garden, mere minutes walk away from the MTR (exit C2).

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

Founded in 1934, the temple complex of the Chi Lin Nunnery was renovated in the 1990s. The elegant wooden architecture was constructed using specific interlocking systems to hold the wood together, very much like how they used to do it during the Tang Dynasty, and thus not a single iron nail was required in the present-day buildings. A series of temple halls can be found, with exquisite statues of the divinities, including Buddha, Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) and other bodhisattvas. (Sorry, no photos of the halls and statues allowed!)

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

The Nan Lian Garden lies south of the Chi Lin Nunnery and was also built in the style of Tang Dynasty. Its design was based on the landscaped Jiangshouju Garden in Shanxi, and thus filled with meticulously planned placements of springs, hills, rock, trees, plants, pavilions, bridges and ponds. It does one’s soul good to stroll in this tranquil garden. The only small regret was the scaffolds over the Pavilion of Absolute Perfection, apparently not so perfect at the moment and required some renovation work.

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

Given the slightly out-of-the-way location, there were few visitors around, making this visit very pleasant and I was feeling rather zen. Hungry travellers may obtain tickets near the entrance of the Nan Lian Garden for a wholesome vegetarian meal at the Chi Lin Nunnery, while the thirsty could look into a spot of break at the tea house.

This was one of my favourite places in Hong Kong, even if it’s not on everyone’s to-visit list. The atmosphere lends itself to the lightness of being and spirit, and for a moment, I had not a worry in the world. That felt really good.

All posts in this series:
Hong Kong: What can I do in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong: First impression: Hong Kong
Hong Kong: More dim sum, please
Hong Kong: Postcards: The (Victoria) Peak
Hong Kong: Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden
Hong Kong: Wong Tai Sin Temple
Hong Kong: Po Lin Monastery and the Big Buddha
Hong Kong: Tai O fishing village
Hong Kong: Postcards: Stanley
Hong Kong: Chinese desserts galore
Hong Kong: Occupy Central with Love and Peace
Hong Kong: Hong Kong by night
Hong Kong: So many markets
Hong Kong: How to gain a few kilos in a week
Hong Kong: Once upon a clear sky in Hong Kong



Category: Asia, Hong Kong, Travel

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4 scribbles & notes

  1. med says:

    Zen within the city ;)

  2. med says:

    Hahahaha…maaaayyyybeeee…food stops come first though hehehe

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