It’s been three years since I moved to #HongKong and in these three years lots of friends & acquaintances have visited us for a holiday. Some of them invariably remark that HK is a concrete jungle. While, I am not disputing that view, but there is definitely more to HK than just tall skyscrapers. This thought prompted me to do a series of short posts on the charming and alluring gardens of HK. So here is my first Garden for you all – Nan Lian Garden located in Diamond Hill, east Kowloon in Hong Kong.
Nan Lian Garden, Diamond Hill
This is one of the less publicized but classical garden in Kowloon east. We choose to spend New Year’s Day this year- in serene ambience of Nan Lian Garden, located amid urban hustle-bustle of Hong Kong. The garden has an area of 35000 sq.m and is also the gateway to Chi Lin nunnery to the north with sprawling mountain at its back. Although the garden is built in the 21st century, it is based on Tang dynasty and it follows the rules of traditional Chinese gardens. So each stone, tree, rock and water elements are landscaped accordingly. At the entrance, there is a big, wooden archway named the Black Lintel Gate. The garden features all kinds of classical timber structures like the octagonal pavilion at the centre of the lotus pond, a multipurpose exhibition hall, gallery of scaled models of existing timber structures in China, pagoda and many more. The garden is half-moon shaped and the structures are scattered in various locations in perfect harmony with the natural greens of trees. There is a big pond with colourful fishes and a small waterfall too. The garden has one vegetarian restaurant and two tea-cafes. We snacked on yummy sandwiches and hot cup of teas. It also has a souvenir shop with beautiful porcelain variety of small souvenirs to crockery. We bought two porcelain tea mugs. I read on the information leaflet that there are sixty species of plants and trees in the garden. No wonder it is so spectacular. In an instance I was transported to a world of tranquillity and calmness. After we explored the garden we entered the huge monastery complex of Chi Lin nunnery. The nunnery is a Buddhist temple complex which was built in the 20th century. It has a big courtyard with four lotus ponds which lead up to the main hall of worship. There are statues of Shakyamuni Buddha and a few Bodhisattvas. The architecture of the nunnery is again based on Tang dynasty. The complex has many halls, a school, a pagoda, and a tower. We spent a good three hours exploring the garden and the Chi Lin nunnery.
This article is guest post by Payal Bose Biswas, who is a Hong Kong resident of Indian origin and has been sharing beautiful slices of her life in Hong Kong via #TheHongKongChapter posts here.
All photographs are by Siddharth Biswas, also a Hong Kong Resident.
If you like this article and photographs, you can check out their instagram accounts at @payalbiswas and @siddhartha_biswas for some interesting travel and Hong Kong related feed.