Thursday, April 17, 2008

Nan Lian Garden (Part I)

Last Saturday Mike and I went to Nan Lian Garden at Diamond Hill, Kowloon.


The entrance. Nan Lian Garden is a public Chinese garden under the management of the HK government.

The funny thing is that I didn't find out about this beautiful garden until the recent news about the many complaints voiced against the strict rules in this garden.

Strict Rules?!


Of course people are not complaining the normal rules that you'd expect from a public garden, such as those listed on this warning poster at the entrance.


From what I've heard from the news, some of the strict rules that people complained about are that tourists are forbidden from: taking group pictures with more than 3 people, painting landscapes inside the garden anywhere, bringing food inside the garden, entering the tea house unless they purchase the $120 dollars tea..., etc.


The "no food" rule I can understand. But the rest are a bit too strict, in my opinion.


For example, such a pretty garden, and you don't allow landscape painting?!?! What a waste!!!


For example, I, for one, would really love to "capture" all these crazy, stunning-looking rocks into some sort of painting (if I had that talent, which unfortunately, I don't... haha~)


The Golden Temple


There was a golden temple structure in the garden that from a distance looks like a smaller version of the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku ji) in Kyoto.


There were quite a lot of tourists including locals like us going to the garden that day. The complaint news, though might create a bad image for the garden management, had probably let many people who didn't know about the place before now be aware of this beautiful place. I'd say it's not totally a bad thing...


The golden temple was a popular spot for snapping pictures. (Though this one I had to semi-forced Mike stand there for me to take one of him... ha... )


Then the usual "us" picture!!! ^_^


The garden is literally next to the Diamond Hill MTR station, in the middle of the center area of the district. I bet the people living in those buildings can have a good view of the garden any day they want!!


There are many small ponds in the garden surrounded by carefully-maintained green plants, kind of similar to a Japanese garden in that respect.


Even the trees look like those you can see in a Japanese garden.


Walking closer to the temple. There was a bright red, rainbow-shaped bridge right in front of the temple.


Too bad we can't cross over and go into the temple. (One of the complaints is that many facilities of the garden are blocked off and not opened for public. I guess this is one of those...)


Oh well.... can't go through nor enter....

I guess I'll just look and appreciate from afar.... (like those ancient Chinese poets...) =D


Guess what these are? Well... if you can read either the Chinese or English characters on the tags, you'll realize that they are indeed garbage boxes. However, the amazing thing that I'd like to point out is not what they are, but that somehow Mike (the photographer of this picture) was able to make two originally three-dimensional boxes appear as two-dimensional as they possibly can. Unbelievable!!!! ;)


Taking a last and full look of the golden temple.

Oh by the way, I forgot to mention that another rule the garden has is that every path is a one-way path, so you can't go back to see something if you have already passed it. (Yea, this rule is on the complaint list too!!)

And we experienced this firsthand when we tried to route back into the garden near the exit of the garden. The security guard there told us that we can only enter the garden again by going out the exit first and then coming back in from the garden entrance.

No wonder people complained... =(

Tree Fairies?!?!

Apart from some of the unreasonable rules though, I'd say the garden itself is worth visiting. Definitely beautiful views and many really interesting, awesome-looking plants and nature scenes that you can't normally see.


Oh my god!! Doesn't this tree look like it is inhabited by some kind of "tree fairy"?! hahaha~ (I know I know, I can have "excessive" imagination sometimes! )


More "tree fairies"?! Seriously, this tree and the grass beneath it really looked like they had a magic spell casted on them....

Fragrance Hall

Leaving the golden temple, we walked along the designed, designated walkway and came to the "Xiang Hai Xuan", i.e. Fragrance Hall.


The hall takes its name from the sea of fragrant trees around it over the hill that it is built on.


The Fragrance Hall has a surreal-feeling front walkway.


I liked the deep brown, timber pillars a lot. Very solemn...


I took some sneaky pictures of Mike, while he was looking at pillars of timber.


Apparently, I was not the only "sneaky" one. He tried to sneak up on me as well.... Haha... I guess the timber pillars are good for playing hide-and-seek as well. (Though of course you can expect to get yelled at by the strict security guards if you actually try to do so there...)

Okay, wrapping up my Nan Lian Garden visit (Part I) here...

Will continue (with more beautiful pictures of the garden) in the next entry...

No comments: