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Nan Lian gardens and Chi Lin nunnery

The Nan Lian Garden (南蓮園池) is a classical chinese garden in the Diamond hill area of Kowloon in Hong Kong. Take the MTR to Diamond Hill, this probably requires some step over between MTR lines. The Diamond hill MTR station is inside a shopping centre. Just take the escalator to the ground level and exit to your right. Walk slightly north and cross the street on the right and under the highway overpass. The garden is immediately to the right. Entry is free. Although it look old, in fact is was built in 2006.

The garden has a lot of topiary, also called bonsai. Personally I only conider something to be bonsai when it has deliberately stunted growth so that a 100 year old tree could be less than 1 metre tall.

You can cross over on the north-east side of the garden via stairs to the Chi Lin nunnery.


Chi Lin Nunnery

The Chi Lin Nunnery (志蓮淨苑) is a large Buddhist temple complex.

It is located in Diamond Hill, Kowloon, Hong Kong and quite a large area, consisting of several successive building complexes around courtyards. The temple complex includes a nunnery, temple halls, Chinese gardens, visitor's hostels and a vegetarian restaurant, although I did not see the nunnery or try the restaurant. Actually I bought tae-away Sushi at Diamong Hill MTR station and ate that on the steps of the Nan Lian gardens.

The temple halls have statues of various Buddhist deities, including the Sakyamuni Buddha, Guanyin and various other bodhisattvas. These statues are made from gold, clay, wood and stone.

The Chi Lin Nunnery was rebuilt in the style of Tang Dynasty traditional Chinese architecture in the 1990s. The  buildings are wood frame built without nails, instead using special interlocking wood cuts to hold them in place (a short of super sophisticated log cabin).  The temple halls and the Nan Lian Chinese garden in front of the nunnery are open to the public and are free, although you may wish to make a donation.

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