The Hong Kong Chi Lin Nunnery is the first building in Hong Kong built without using any nails. It replicates the building method used in the Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D.) This is the reason we grouped it under our Hong Kong Museums page.
Entrance of the Hong Kong Chi Lin Nunnery. The path we were walking on connected to the Nan Lian Garden
Remember, this is not a historical building. This is why it is such an amazing place to check out.
If you go to Mainland China, you can find many buildings preserved by the government using the same building method. Unfortunately, many of them are deteriorating. Hong Kong Chi Lin Nunnery will give you better and clear vision and ideas how they actually look like in the past.
Perry was a builder for 20 years. He loves to appreciate different building and architectural styles. When he first saw this building in 2000, he was stunned at the incredible craftsmanship. The present-day buildings are wood frame buildings built without the use of any iron nails. They used a special interlocking systems cut into the wood to hold them in place.
To check out how that interlocking system works, you can see it right in front of you by going across the street where the Nan Lian Garden is. As soon as you step into the garden, there is a small building with the display and photography is prohibited.
(Any way, back to Chi Lin Nunnery) As soon as you step into the entrance, you can feel the
silence and tranquility running into your body and mind. It is so
peaceful inside. A few steps from the entrance, there is a pond filled
with water lily. It reminds me of a Chinese poem about water lily likes
a justice gentleman. That poem, in old Chinese langugage, was a must for all high school students.
Pond of Water Lily in Chi Lin Nunnery
Make sure you look up and see how the building and roofing systems are attached together by intricate wood joinery. Isn't it gorgeous?
Roof of the buildings in Chi Lin Nunnery with intricate wood joinery
Closeup of the Roof with intricate wood joinery
Walking further is the entrance to a place for worship and the residence of nuns. Photography is prohibited inside. But feel free to appreciate the different Buddha statues inside.
Don't be surprised to hear the Buddhist music or the nun praying. The volume is very low and soft. Best of all, it is very peaceful. It feels like you just stepped away from this crowded, busy city while it is surrounded with traffic and residential buildings.
Heading towards the worship area
Sideview of the worship area
A few years later, it expanded by adding another section called, Nan Lin Garden which is right across the street. This is another Perry's favorite place in Hong Kong.
When I went back in 2009, The Nunnery was expanding again. I'm sure when the construction is completed. We will check out this place again.
MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit C2, and follow the signs. (It's not more than a 5 minute walk from the MTR exit)
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