chi lin nunnery + nan lian garden in hong kong

A holiday in Hong Kong can get fairly expensive but there are some beautiful places you can visit for free that will leave you with a different but equally memorable perspective of the bustling city and its rich history.

Here's a couple of my favorites: the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden.

chi lin nunnery
chi lin nunnery
Take the MTR to Diamond Hill station and exit at C2. You'll end up at Hollywood Plaza Mall. From there just follow the signs that will take you across the street to the gardens and nunnery.

nan lian gardenchi lin nunnery

The Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Gardens are located right across each other so you can easily visit both in half a day or longer depending solely on how much time you decide to spend relaxing at both places.

chi lin nunnery
chi lin nunnery
Established in 1934 and renovated in Tang dynasty style (AD 618–907) in 1990, the Chi Lin Nunnery is a large temple complex of elegant wooden architecture, treasured Buddhist relics and soul-soothing lotus ponds. The complex also includes a series of temple halls, some of which contain gold, clay and wooden statues representing divinities such as the Sakyamuni Buddha and bodhisattvas.

chi lin nunnery
chi lin nunnery
The place is a functioning temple so once you step foot inside past the courtyard to where all the great statues are, photos aren't allowed as it might disrupt the monks in prayer.

Take my word for it though, it is truly serene and beautiful inside. Take a few moments of silence to reflect in one of its quiet corners away from the other tourists and visiting guests.

chi lin nunnery
chi lin nunnery
nan lian garden
nan lian garden operating hours
 Nan Lian Garden is a public park built in the style of the Tang dynasty. Its scenic garden is meticulously landscaped over an area of 3.5 hectares, in which every hill, rock, body of water, plant and timber structure has been placed according to specific rules and methods. There are permenant exhibitions of Chinese timber architecture, rocks and potted plants, while the hungry might want to try the vegetarian restaurant or teahouse.


nan lian garden
how to get to nan lian garden
Welcome to one of my most favorite places in Hong Kong! 

This place will take your breath away.

Each corner is painstakingly tended to to create "living sculptures" all throughout the park. While there, we tried to count the number of gardeners at work but halfway, we lost track. You'll see many of them pop out of hidden corners with wheelbarrows carrying a variety of seedlings waiting to be planted and shears to make sure each branch on each tree is perfectly shaped and pointing in the right direction.

nan lian garden
how to get to chi lin nunnery
If you observe carefully, you'll notice how in some parts of the park, leaves and branches are only pointing upwards while in other areas they only point to the east/west and so on.

Even the grass here is different.

Give yourself time to take everything in and notice all the little details that make this garden so wonderful and unique.

nan lian garden
nan lian garden
Equally awe-inspiring as the shrubbery are the many rock formations embedded between the trees. They appear as if taken from deep within the ocean.

nan lian garden
nan lian garden
Also at the Nan Lian garden are "mini museums" such as this which demonstrates the way palaces were built without a single nail during the Tang Dynasty.

There's lots of miniature models of all the popular buildings and pagodas of the past.

nan lian garden
nan lian garden
Here's an actual example of how the ancients would put together perfectly carved pieces of wood to create those monumental structures of the bygone era.

nan lian garden
nan lian garden museum
If you get tired from all the walking and would like to take a quick snack, there's a small coffee shop that offers traditional tea, small meals and vegan sandwiches.

nan lian garden
I personally didn't enjoy the vegemeat meals here so if I were you, I'd suggest taking along your own vask of coffee and some light snacks.
Just make sure not to litter the place with your junk when you're done :)

nan lian garden
nan lian garden coffee shop
If you prefer a full meal, there's also a charming vegetarian restaurant located behind a waterfall!

nan lian garden
click to enlarge
We were supposed to have our lunch here but it was full with a long line of waiting customers and we were already "Hangry" so we decided to have it elsewhere.

That broke my heart a little bit.

nan lian garden
nan lian garden vegetarian restaurant
So if I were you, call ahead of time to make a reservation.

nan lian garden
nan lian garden restaurant
Nan Lian Garden
60 Fung Tak Road, Diamond Hill, Kowloon
+852 3658 9366


Didi said…
Happy New Year Sarah!
Not bad ha... :)

Love, Didi
sarah tirona said…
thanks didi! happy new year! :)
Iris Pulga said…
Keeping this in mind <3 Is the hotel kid-friendly?

Happy New Year!

<3 Iris
Not bad at all! Love comfy hotel rooms!
Berlin Maynigo said…
Not bad with all the pillows, linens and towels smelling fresh and new. :)
Kim Reyes said…
When I read this, "No welcome letter, fruit basket, wine or cookies" I thought, ay. Haha! But at 1,500 a night! What a deal!
Denice Joyce Diaz said…
Not bad! Looks like a great place to stay. :)
Nheng said…
The bed head board is cute!
Lady Anne Louise ☺♥ said…
I wish I can visit Bali too. I should plan this with my girlfriends.
I love the wall art! The hotel looks like a 5-star hotel. Hindi halatang affordable yung rates niya.
Maan Laxa said…
Wow how cheap! I'm willing to overlook the complaints for that rate haha
Ayi Dela Cruz said…
I've always wanted to go to Bali but the magkasunod babies got in the way. I hope to go there soon. But first, lemme get that bikini body first :)) Great hotel too :)
Grace Sarakbi said…
i didn't know that it was this cheap to travel to Bali. i thought we can get these rates at Cambodia, Vietnam and the likes. ok, now you're added on the bucket list ^_^
Kharla Ramos-Canta said…
I've never been to Bali and Omg so cheap! Will definitely plan a trip soon! Thanks for the write up!
jared's mum said…
Bali is one of the places I would love to visit one day. It is good to know that they have very affordable accommodations. Perfect for budget travelers and those traveling with their families