Weather :

Timings : 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee for garden, Gallery and Rockery
Xiang Hai Xuan Exhibition: HKD 20 (adults), HKD 10 (senior citizens, students, persons with disabilities), Free entry on Wednesdays
The garden administration hands out free tickets on a first-come, first-serve basis every morning from 8:00 AM

Nan Lian Garden, Hong Kong Overview

The Nan Lian Garden is a public garden built in the clasic Chinese style amidst the high-rise apartments of Diamond Hill in Hong Kong. This sprawling garden spanning over 35,000 square metres is a visual feast with lush ornamental trees, wooden structures, gigantic rocks, hillocks and water features, each of which have been placed according to specific rules and methods. Housing some permanent exhibits Chinese rocks, potted plants, and timber architecture, the Nan Lian Garden is like a sweet getaway amidst the modern setting owing to its location.

It was opened on 15th November 2006 as a result of a joint effort by the Chi Lin Nunnery and the Hong Kong Government. Nan Lian Garden was planned and executed with traditional gardening techniques that follow the one-way route of the Tang Dynasty. Right in the middle, the ancient-looking pavilion is a centre of attraction with Lion Rock mountain range in the backdrop. The noise barrier shield along the boundary wall and towering trees cut the noise nuisance and make the place much more tranquil. If one gets tired roaming, grab a snack from the Snack Shop, sip tea at the Teahouse or have a hearty meal at the Chi Lin Vegetarian Restaurant. Opposite the Nan Lian Garden is the famous Chi Lin Nunnery, built in the same architectural style to compliment the beautiful temple complex. Both of these attractions can be visited free of cost.

Photos of Nan Lian Garden

Read More on Nan Lian Garden

Nan Lian Garden Timings

While the garden remains open practically throughout the day, the galleries, restaurants and shops are open only for a shorter time during the day - 
  • Car Parking -  7:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
  • Souvenir Shop - 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM (every day).
  • Snack Shop - 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM (every day).
  • Chinese Architecture Gallery and Rockery - 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM (every day). 
  • Xiang Hai Xuan - 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (every day). 
  • Chi Lin Vegetarian Restaurant - 
    Monday to Friday - Lunch 12 noon to 2:30 PM, Dinner - 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
    Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays - Lunch 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM, Afternoon Tea - 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM, Dinner - 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. 
  • Song Cha Xie Teahouse - 12 noon to 7:00 PM (every day).

Structure and Layout

Nan Lian Garden is a Tang style classical Chinese garden which draws inspiration from Jiangshouju Garden located in Shanxi Province with four key elements - the artificial hillocks and the ornamental rocks, water features, wooden structures and gigantic old trees. 

Rocks: There is a Chinese tradition called  “earth enclosing rocks” which was adopted for the formation of hillocks in the garden. The rocks that are primarily used are from Sanjiang County.

Water: Water features such as the Spring, Lotus Pond, Blue Pond, Pine Brook, Moon Wash, Silver Strand and Waterfall were thought of and made to resemble their natural states.

Nan Lian Garden Hong Kong
Nan Lian Garden has several tranquil ponds and water bodies spread throughout (Source)

Wood: The timber structures include pavilions, terraces, tower, storeyed pavilion, waterside pavilion, bridges and the Black Lintel Gate are distinctively built in the conventional architectural style of the Chinese. The gigantic old trees that can be seen everywhere in the garden include Buddhist Pine, Japanese Black Pine, Cypress, and Silver-back Artocarpus.

Layout: This Chinese garden was carefully designed in a way that visitors traverse on a one-way route. The landscaping of the garden is based on Chinese concepts such as “borrowing scenes”, “concealing scenes”, “sheltering scenes” and “penetrating scenes” for structuring the garden space. The one-way path is dotted with precious trees which are also found in the Banyan Grove and Pine Path in the garden. Right in the middle of the Nan Lian Garden, there is a striking golden temple.

Attractions at Nan Lian Garden

There is a lot to explore at Nan Lian Garden. The well-landscaped garden is carefully designed as per traditional Chinese techniques of space planning that lays down systematic placement of the key elements. This adds to the appeal of the garden as it beautifully combines rocks, trees, water and wooden structures together in perfect harmony. The following are the star attractions - 
  • The exhibition hall at the Nan Lian Garden holds exhibitions and displays which are engaging and informative. It is a good stopover for fifteen to twenty minutes. 
  • The Pond Garden is yet another place option to just sit, unwind and rejuvenate the mind. 
  • Pine Path view of Spring Hill - The Spring Hill is one of the Hillocks in the garden that embodies tall trees and waterfall in a rocky backdrop. The Spring Hill is to the left of the Lotus Pond.
  • Pavilion of Absolute Perfection and Zi Wu Bridge - Also known as the Golden Pavilion, this is located near the Lotus Pond. Here, the Fragrance Hill is stunning with sweet-scented blossoming beauties like osmanthus, lily and orange-jasmine.
Pavilion of Absolute Perfection at Nan Lian Garden
The Pavilion of Absolute Perfection (Source)

  • After passing through Xiang Hai Xuan, one comes across the Blue Pond which is enriched with huge rock formations and enticing water features. Alongside the edge of the Pond, one finds Lunar Reflection Terrace and Pagoda Tree Pavilion
  • Long Men Mou is situated near Silver Strand around the northeastern corner of the Nan Lian Garden. It is a beautiful three-storey building that is tastefully decorated with plants on its balconies and roof. 
  • On moving ahead from Long Men Mou, one can see Song Cha Xie on the left and Tang Gallery on the right. Enjoy mini-concerts and dramas that are performed often in the central courtyard.
  • Further ahead of the Tang Gallery, there is a Rockery that showcases rocks from the Hengshui River in an indoor setting.
  • Following the one way route, the next attraction is the Light Of Enlightenment Statue, the fountain and the rocks of Nan Lian. These rocks lie under the bridge that links the Nan Lian Garden to the Chi Lin Nunnery which is the opposite side of Fung Tak Road.

How to Reach Nan Lian Garden

The Nan Lian Garden is located at 60 Fung Tak Road, Diamond Hill in Hong Kong’s Kowloon district.

MTR: This is the quickest and most efficient mode of transport. Take the MTR Kwun Tong Line to Diamond Hill MTR Station, and exit through C1. The signs to Nan Lian Garden are hard to miss. One can expect to reach the garden in 5 minutes. We recommend the Octopus card for additional MTR discounts.

Bus: The following buses stops right to the entrance of Nan Lian Garden for a price as low as HKD 5.
3B, 10, 11, 11C, 38, 42C, 61X, 62X, 70X, 74A, 74X, 75X, 80, 82X, 84M, 85C, 85M, 89, 89B, 89C, 91, 91M, 92, 258D, 259D, 286M, 671, 796B, 906R, E22, E22A

PLB: The Public Light Bus is perfect for families and individuals with special needs. The 19, 19M,  70 and 72 buses ply to Nan Lian Park and cost between HKD 4 -10.

Taxi: Taxi prices start at HKD 20.

Restaurants and Eating Options

Chi Lin Vegetarian Restaurant - This restaurant is located at the end of the garden, right behind the waterfall and is usually very busy.

Snack Shop -The shop at Nan Lian Garden is known for its vegetarian sandwiches, beverages including hot and cold drinks and a select variety of fresh fruit juice. Set menus are available for the holidays.

Song Cha Xie: This is a Chinese teahouse located at Chi Lin Nunnery where having tea is a unique experience in itself -  each table is equipped with a complete set of tea-making utensils and the visitors are expected to remove their shoes outside and are given special slippers to wear for coming to the teahouse. This creates a vibe of the traditional Chinese way of having tea. The teahouse uses tea leaves free of pesticides and fertilisers. Great care is taken while processing the tea leaves as the entire process is done in accordance with the ancient tradition under the supervision of Chi Lin Nunnery. The Dimsums here are quite popular.

Tips

  • Keep in mind that the entire premise is smoke and litter-free zone.
  • Visitors are not permitted to bring food items into the garden area; food is only allowed within the restaurants.
  • Do not crowd around the main attractions and vantage point; stick to the one-way trail.
  • Loud music is not allowed at the Park.  
  • Walking on the grass is not allowed. Avoid running and playing games within the premises. Flying kites and balloons are not allowed within the garden.
  • Avoid tossing coins into the ponds.
  • Tripods, bikes, skateboards and roller skates are not allowed within the garden. Prams are allowed.

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