Quick Reads - Chi Lin Nunnery and Gardens, Hong Kong

Not a single nail!

Once upon a time, when Hong Kong was without protests and the Covid -19, I happened to stumble upon a gem. Right in the middle of the city, surrounded by the sky hugging buildings, I found the Chi Lin Nunnery and the Nan Lian Gardens - an oasis of aesthetics and serenity. The Chi Lin Nunnery was built in 1938.  Much later it was rebuilt in 1988 according to the architectural principles of the Tang Dyansty. 
The Waterfall around the restaurant

It was another world and another age that I had entered into and the restaurant vanished from my consciousness. Spread over 33,000 square metres, the Chi Lin Nunnery is believed to be the largest hand made wooden structure in the world. What is unique about it is that, there is not a single nail used in this building! The entire structure is held together by a special interlocking system cut into each piece of wood. Across a beautiful bridge near the nunnery is the Nan Lian garden with exquisite landscaping, small hills, water bodies, rocks and trees. The entire experience of both the garden and the nunnery is quite simply overwhelming. Especially, you have gone there primarily, for the vegetarian restaurant run by the nuns, like I had. The restaurant itself was artistic and beautiful, enveloped in greenery with a waterfall along one wall. Despite the restaurant being full, all we heard was the gentle sound of this water.

Serene and Surreal 

I had to go back. It was simply too beautiful. This time I visited Chi Lin in the night. It was like a fairy tale. Little lights ensconced in the trees threw pools of light creating a surreal yet magical ambience and yes, the food is delicious!

No comments

Post a Comment

© Of Places and People | All rights reserved.