Today is one of those days, when I get that gut-wrenching longing to be back in my beloved Hong Kong even if only for a day to recharge my depleted inner batteries… (After having spent four years in Hong Kong it has left a void in my mind and heart that I am still hopelessly trying to fill.) This is one of my favorite spots in Hong Kong – Nan Lian Garden next to Chi Lin Nunnery. Both the stunning public garden and the nunnery were designed and renovated in Tang dynasty style.
The Nunnery is a large temple complex of elegant wooden architecture, treasured Buddhist relics and soul-soothing lotus ponds. The Garden is a tranquil haven midst Diamond Hill’s myriad of high-rise apartments. 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.
But most of all, Nan Lian Garden to me is a place of utmost bliss and complete relaxation. I know that the soothing sounds of Chinese flute come from strategically placed concealed loudspeakers. That even the mist and fog that floats above
the pond and coils around the tree trunks is artificial. But if you sit on one of the benches here, close your eyes, still your breathing, the rumbling noise of mad traffic will ebb away, and you can hear the universe as clear as droplets falling from a faulty tap in a still and quiet apartment… This is Nan Lian Garden to me, my safe and calm place…