Hong Kong’s Nan Lian Garden- a surprising 3.5 hectares of lush greenery, traditional Tang-style architecture and soul-restoring tranquility in busy Kowloon.
Just when I think I may be getting tired of Hong Kong I find yet another hidden gem in this utterly manic city. I have previously shared a couple of the peaceful secrets the region has to offer. Cheung Chau and Tai O are just a ferry ride away from Kowloon, but the surprisingly tranquil Nan Lian Garden is even closer – just a ten minute cab ride from Tsim Sha Tsui.
This 3.5 hectare garden nestles at the foot of the grey high-rise developments surrounding it and is designed in the style of the Tang dynasty. The gardens are fastidiously landscaped and every pond, waterfall, rock and tree is placed according to strict traditional garden design rules.
There are several beautifully elegant timber pavillions dotted around the gardens which contain permanent exhibitions of traditional Chinese architecture, rock gardens and potted trees.
There is a vegetarian restaurant hidden behind a waterfall and a traditional tea house in another pavillion.
The garden is an extraordinary oasis in this mad town. Indeed, after ten minutes here it’s possible to forget you are in one of the most densely populated cities in the world.
Adjacent to the garden is the historical Chi Lin Nunnery and temple complex. Another tribute to the Tang dynasty, the main wooden temple building has been constructed without nails and is surrounded by peaceful lotus ponds and a series of temple halls.
Nan Lian Garden, 60 Fung Tak Rd, Diamond Hill, Hong Kong. Open 7am-7pm, admission free.
(All of the above images were taken with my iPhone.)