We were fortunate to visit the Nan Lian Gardens on a pleasant day. It was sunny, but not overly warm.
The garden is designed in the Tang Dynasty style and occupies an area of 3.5 hectares. Apart from the classic timber structures of the period, there are rock gardens and fossilised trees.
A joint project of the Hong Kong Government and the Chi Lin Nunnery, the Garden opened to the public in November 2006. It is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The visitor will find a souvenir shop, an excellent vegetarian restaurant, and a Chinese tea house. There is also a multi-purpose function room which may be rented in advance. The ladies’ and gents’ toilets also have facilities for the disabled.
Please note, that smoking within the garden area is forbidden and no alcohol is permitted. Also, in some of the pavilions photography is prohibited. Please do not attempt to take a ‘sly’ photo because you will get the staff in trouble and may well have your phone or camera confiscated until the offending photo is deleted. Not to mention being escorted off the premises.
We took the MTR to Diamond Hill Station and used Exit C2. However, depending on where you are coming from there are numerous bus routes that serve the garden. It would be best to find out which one is more convenient for you.
Parking is available on an hourly pay basis. There is also one parking space for the disabled that has to be booked in advance.
The Pavilion of Absolute Perfection
Sitting on its own in the middle of the pond in the Perfection Court, it is connected to the footpaths by two Zi Wu Bridges.
The Pine Tea Pavilion
Located at the edge of the Blue Pond is the Pine Tea Pavilion. A magnificent example of a traditional wooden building.
The Long Man Lou Waterfall
The waterfall actually conceals the vegetarian restaurant. On the day of our visit, it was fully booked so, if you wish to dine it would be a good idea to call in advance. (Contact details will be provided in the Conclusions – SGW).
A short distance from the waterfall is the water mill.
The Chi Lin Nunnery
Adjoining the Nan Lian Garden is the Chi Lin Nunnery. It was founded in the mid-1930s as a retreat for Buddhist nuns. It was rebuilt in1998 in the style of traditional Tang Dynasty architecture. Within the temple, you will see statues of the Sakyamuni Buddha, Guanyin, the goddess of mercy, and other bodhisattvas. The statues are made from gold, clay, wood, and stone.
The temple halls and the beautiful Chinese garden in front of the nunnery are open to the public daily free of charge.
The Nan Lian Garden and Chi Lin Nunnery are conveniently located for a morning or afternoon (or even an evening visit). There are numerous tourist websites that give information on the garden. You can contact the Nan Lian Garden at (852) 2329 8811.
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