Located midst the Kowloon’s high-rise buildings and the hustle bustle of the city, The Nan Lian Garden and Chi Lin Nunnery is one of the most peaceful places you will ever find in Hong Kong. It might not be a typical tourists joint but nevertheless a perfect place to relax and unwind for couple of hours.
The Nan Lian is a beautiful Half moon shaped landscape garden designed in the Tang dynasty style with traditional Chinese pavilions, bridges, hillocks, flowers and plants. The 35,000 sq. m site is artfully utilized to create a serene atmosphere and even though it is right in the middle of the bustling Diamond Hill, you will appreciate the fact that the garden is well insulated from the outside noise.
Among the various Timber Structures, we were entranced by the Golden structure called as the Pavilion of Absolute Perfection, which is located in the middle of the garden with vermillion colored bridge on either side. However much as we wanted to check the inside of the pavilion, it is closed for public viewing. Taking a leisurely stroll along the ponds, the evergreen trees and pretty flowers we were ready to admit it was just what we needed after the city tour and shopping.
At the far end of the garden, neatly hidden behind the artificial waterfall and watermill is a pure vegetarian restaurant, which serves lip-smacking authentic Cantonese cuisine. The steamed lotus seed buns we had are one of the best buns we have had so far. We do not have any pictures of the yummy food since photography is prohibited inside the restaurant.
Also, there is a teahouse “Song Cha Xie” located in a building that looks like a classic Chinese corridor overlooking the Blue Pond creating a tranquil atmosphere while sipping the Chinese tea.
The garden is connected to the Chi Lin Nunnery, which is a Buddhist Temple complex established in the year 1934 and later renovated in Tang style in 1990. During the renovation the wooden structures were built in such a way that not a single iron nail was used indicating the relationship of nature and humans.
The Nunnery and the Garden is five-minute walk from the Diamond Hill MTR station. You can also include small trip to the Plaza Hollywood mall as it is close to the Garden.