A must-see for any visitor to Hong Kong, Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden in Diamond Hill, Kowloon, are where you can explore amazing Chinese heritage.
No matter how long you’ve lived in Hong Kong, a break from the expensive city life and high-rise buildings can always do some good. Whether that’s exploring heritage and art at private galleries, enjoying therapeutic forest walks in the mountains, or exploring the many islands around Hong Kong, there’s always somewhere to explore. And next up on your to-go list should be Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden in Diamond Hill, as they are stunning places to escape from the noise. Join us as we introduce you to the sites’ gorgeous architecture, temples, and tranquil rock gardens.
A guide to Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden
Chi Lin Nunnery: The art of stillness
Chi Lin Nunnery is a temple complex founded in 1934 as a retreat for Buddhist nuns. In the 1990s, it was rebuilt in Tang Dynasty style to include elegant architecture, crafted from cypress wood. Based on traditional Chinese architecture, the complex features an interlocking system of joints. This means that not a single nail was used during its construction – a truly astonishing feat! Inside, the temple halls include a range of statues of the Sakyamuni Buddha, bodhisattvas, and Guanyin, the goddess of Mercy.
Nan Lian Garden: A photographer’s dream
Just opposite Chi Lin Nunnery is Nan Lian Garden. With a backdrop of Hong Kong’s famous high-rise apartment buildings, this place is an oasis of calm. This garden has also been meticulously crafted in Tang dynasty style. Also, it includes the Pavilion of Absolute Perfection and water features, making the garden ideal for photography.
Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden are great places to take visitors to Hong Kong or to escape from the busy streets. A popular Chinese vegetarian restaurant, Chi Lin Vegetarian, is also located in the garden, as well as a Chinese tea house named Song Cha Xie.
[This article was originally published in August 2018 and updated in 2023 by Elaine Wong.]