Ry and I popped over to Diamond Hill last month to visit the Nan Lian Gardens – a public park built in the style of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), created to provide a peaceful escape from the busy city just outside its walls.
The greenery is meticulously landscaped over an area of 3.5 hectares.
It includes the four major elements of a traditional garden (rocks, water features, timber structure and ornamental trees), which have been placed according to specific rules and methods.
Check out that gold pagoda!
Our first stop was the exhibition of Chinese Timber Architecture.
Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos inside, but the models of ancient wooden architecture were so detailed and intricate – it was pretty phenomenal!
Though luckily for you, we were allowed to take photos of the rock exhibition and the potted plants outside – what a treat 😉
Come on in…
It’s basically a small room filled with really big, polished, rocks that are worth a lot of money.
If you’re interested, these unique rocks go by the name ‘Dahua Coloured Scholar’s Rock (Jasplite)’ and they were formed over 260 million years ago.
The excavation of this rock started only 10 years ago, but the stone has become a ‘rising star’ amongst stone connoisseurs.
If you’ve got a couple of thousand dollars spare, why not treat yourself to a valuable rock in their gift shop? (They also sell more conventional gifts such as postcards and key-rings too).
The garden is also home to a vegetarian restaurant and teahouse.
However we had just had lunch and neither of us like tea, so we continued our stroll around the park…
We were both really impressed by this gorgeous, wooden building.
This traditional Tang Dynasty architecture consisted of interlocking wooden frames assembled without the use of iron nails – pretty impressive huh?!
Finally we made our way over to the Chi Lin Nunnery.
It looked absolutely sensational!
Established in 1934 and renovated in Tang Dynasty style in 1990, the nunnery is a large, wooden temple complex surrounded by treasured Buddhist relics and Lotus ponds.
Unfortunately the lotuses hadn’t blossomed yet, but the beautiful koi fish made up for it!
Unfortunately the temple had shut by the time that we arrived.
The internet tells me that we missed out on a series of temples halls, containing gold, clay and wooden statues representing divinities such as the Sakyamuni Buddha and bodhisattvas.
It sounds pretty interesting, so we’ll definitely visit again!
Best of all, it’s free – so no excuses not to check it out if you’re in HK 😉