Chi Lin Nunnery & Nan Lian Garden• 1 comments •
Someone told me if you've seen one temple, you've seen them all. To some extent, I agree but still appreciate the effort that must have went into building these structures as well as the time it takes to maintain them. When I saw a picture of this incredible golden building while researching Hong Kong I knew I had to see for myself whether it was real... it wasn't one of the "seen 'em all" temples. The Pavilion of Absolute Perfection (that's actually what it's called) was more impressive in person than it was in any picture. Rain was inevitable so we thought we went prepared: with two umbrellas.
The Nan Lian Garden is serene, lush, and gorgeous. Maybe it's because I'm a boring old lady at heart, but I could have spent hours there. There is a restaurant, underneath a waterfall, on the grounds that we wanted to go to. Unfortunately they were closing early and we ended up grabbing a snack at another cafe. The Chi Lin Nunnery is a large buddhist complex which is why all of the offerings don't have meat. There is amazing vegetarian food to be found in the world, especially in Asia, but this was not the place to find it. The "cheese & gluten toastie" might have been the most bland thing I've ever eaten, so, maybe pack a snack if you're planning on heading there.
During the downpour, we found an air conditioned room with an exhibit called 'Fascinating Glassware of Murano, Venice'. There was a sign with a long description about how amazing Murano glass is but no real reason for why it's on display at the Nunnery aside from a brief mention of the pieces being influenced by Ming chinaware, but that's not really an explanation. I wasn't there for the glass though. Turns out, two umbrellas just weren't enough to keep up from getting soaked during a typhoon so, this exhibit was a retreat from the storm. I'm not complaining - I loved the intense sky on this day, watching the people running around with umbrellas, and how everything looked under the heavy rain. - Mina