• AHK - Culture
  • AHK - History

Chi Lin Nunnery & Nan Lian Garden – A Break From The Busy City

May 26, 2021

Name (English): Chi Lin Nunnery & Nan Lian Garden
Name (Chinese): 志蓮淨苑及南蓮園池
Category: Culture & History
Phone Number: +852 2354 1888
Address (English): 5 Chi Lin Dr, Diamond Hill, Kowloon
Address (Chinese): 九龍鑽石山志蓮道5號
Address Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/j6vG5aJ4kix4SCGM9
Address longitude and latitude: 22.34063954871969, 114.2055169524582
Nearest MTR Station: Diamond Hill Station Exit C2
Nearest MTR Station Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/Hi2emNoKMc8VJUNY7
Nearest MTR Station longitude and latitude: 22.340363194522887, 114.20230448196959
How far from the nearest MTR Station: 5-minute walk from Diamond Hill MTR Exit C2
Opening Hours:
MON 07:00 – 21:00
TUE 07:00 – 21:00
WED 07:00 – 21:00
THU 07:00 – 21:00
FRI 07:00 – 21:00
SAT 07:00 – 21:00
SUN 07:00 – 21:00
Recommended Time to Visit: During day-time
Accessibility Note: 
Easy access

If you’re seeking religious guidance, a break from the busy city, a comforting vegetarian meal, or all three, then Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden are the place to be.

Founded in 1934 and rebuilt in 1998, Chi Lin Nunnery in Diamond Hill, Kowloon is a large Buddhist monastery complex that perfectly demonstrates Tang dynasty techniques, aesthetics, and philosophy- it is the world’s largest hand-made wooden buildings using interlocking sections of wood joined without a single nail. Such design is intended to demonstrate the harmony of humans with nature.

Picturesque Buddhist complex with attractive garden and nunnery hall

The main areas open to the public are the Lotus Pond Garden and Hall of Celestial Kings. To enter, first, you walk through a series of ‘three gates’ representing the Buddhist precepts of compassion, wisdom and skilful means. Then you will find the delightful Lotus Pond Garden in the first courtyard before walking into the Hall of Celestial Kings. Water lilies and beautifully-manicured Bonsai Trees are also featured.

Inside the hall, there is a gigantic golden Buddha statue guarded by the four deities at each corner of the hall. These statues are made from gold, clay, and wood.

A break from the busy city

Established in 1934, this former villa went through several stages of renovation in the 1990s, before finally opening to the public in 2000. More than just a place of worship for Buddhists, the monastery complex is now home to a school, library, dentist and residences for the elderly.

Chi Lin Nunnery is considered to be one of the most beautiful religious shrines in Hong Kong. In 2018, a lighting design work has been done for giving the building a new aspect, as close as possible to the original design of the building. If you love Chinese culture, it is definitely worth an exploring.

Connected to Chi Lin Nunnery is Nan Lian Garden. The garden showcases traditional Chinese landscaping techniques and aesthetic principles. Featuring hillocks and ornamental rocks, water features, timber structures and old trees, the four main elements of Tang-style gardens, the site is intended to demonstrate the harmony of nature. 

Same as Chi Lin Nunnery, the timber structures including the striking red bridges and the garden’s centrepiece, the magnificent golden pavilion are built in Tang architectural style, meaning solely wood, no nails. The winding paths resonate with nature and create perspectives.

In the garden there are a souvenir shop, vegetarian food restaurant, Chinese tea house and multi-purpose function room to cater for the various needs of visitors.

Restaurant behind a waterfall

Sitting behind a waterfall in the northeast corner of the garden, the renowned restaurant has a panoramic window that diners can look through the cascading water into the gardens. The restaurant serves high quality vegetarian food with a variety of gourmet meals for lunch, afternoon tea sets, and dinner. Various Chinese dishes are available including starters and stewed broths, main dishes and hotpots as well as rice and noodles plus a variety of beverages.

Temple halls of Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden are open to the public daily free of charge.

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Armie Ma