Monday, April 21, 2008

Nan Lian Garden (Part III) - Chi Lin Nunnery

Continuing with the last part of my Nan Lian Garden visit from last weekend, we walked towards Chi Lin Nunnery (志蓮淨苑) from the north stairs of Nan Lian Garden.

Chi Lin Nunnery


Chi Lin Nunnery is a Buddhist nunnery adjacent to Nan Lian Garden.


To go from one to the other, you just cross the stone stairs in the north part of the garden connecting the two.


The buildings in the nunnery are the only ones built with purely wooden rooftops in Hong Kong now, constructed without using any.

Its construction style reminded me of the famous Kiyomizu Dera (Clear Water Temple / 清水寺) in Kyoto.

Because Kiyomizu-Dera was also constructed without the use of any nails but can withstand strong earthquake. Mike and I were both very impressed when we visited the temple in Kyoto. (Kyoto is one of my favorite places in Japan!!)


Front gate of the Chi Lin Nunnery.


The buildings in the nunnery were built based on a unique architectural style from the Tang Dynasty, which uses special interlocking systems, cutting into the wood for construction.

The Water Lily Pond


There are multiple ponds filled with beautiful Water Lilies in front of the main temple in the nunnery.


Water lilies of different colors are grown vibrantly. I had to admit that this was probably one of the cleanest ponds I've seen with flowers growing!


On the sides of the ponds, water comes out continuously from the mouths of the beautifully-crafted stone dragon-head statues.


I remember a lesson from my Chinese literature textbook in Form 2 (equivalent of eight grade in US) - It was a poem about Water Lily -

Water Lily symbolizes the perfect gentleman, because it can survive in the dirtiest, muddiest ponds but still grows upright and pretty, without being polluted regardless how bad its surrounding environment is!!


I totally agreed with the poem seeing these gorgeous water lilies!! =D


Even the leaves of the Water Lilies are so clean and round and green!!! What an artistic composition!!

The Temple

When we got to the main temple, it was already passed 4pm. (Yea, we had spent quite a long time just touring around the garden before coming to the nunnery).


Unfortunately, the temple was already closed before we had a chance to enter.


As you can see, the entrance to the temple front was blocked, and the security guards were closing down the temple gates as well.


Finally... the whole temple was shut down.

Not main temple, what then?


Well... since we couldn't get into the main temple, we changed direction and walked around the peripheral buildings surrounding the temple.


Discovered one of the many exits as we explored. But of course, we didn't want to leave just yet.


Coming back in, we discovered another interesting building on a different side of the nunnery. It felt a bit similar to the wooden Fragrance Hall back in Nan Lian Garden.


With an additional gigantic traditional wooden door.


Oops... sorry, bad habit - Naught me, couldn't resist the temptation to try to pull the door!! haha~ (luckily there was no security guard around at that time....)

Miscellaneous Interesting Stuff


Gigantic wooden lantern in the middle of the nunnery garden. The West side of it faces other buildings in the nunnery.


While its East side faces some of the tall residential buildings in a long distance!!


Bright pink vibrant flowers can be seen everywhere in the nunnery garden.


Bright Pink (flowers) v.s. Light Pink (lady) !!!!

hahaha..... ;)


Crazy girl jumping up high in front of the temple!!
(Sorry, somebody really needs to keep her behave next time....) wakakkaka.... ^_~


Exiting the nunnery through the same doorway we entered back into Nan Lian Garden.

For those who haven't been here and like beautiful nature scenes or impressive-looking temple structures, I'll highly recommend coming here. (My dad already told me that he'd like to come visit next time when he is back.)

Mike and I spent an enjoyable afternoon and were amazed at how clean, well-designed and well-maintained everything is there!! (May be all those strict rules are worth it after all?!!! hmm..... )

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Carol,
Great pictures! Really like your blog - here is a short message from Norway.

My dad has been to Hong Kong and saw your pictures of egg balls. He has in fact been to the same place as you and would like to ask you a question: do you have a receipe for egg balls? He has bought an egg ball iron and would like to try it out at home.

he can be reached at jan (at) If you don't have one, it would be great if you could point him in the right direction for a recipe...

Thanks a lot!

Best wishes,