Hong Kong is a visitor's delight as here one can shop, dine, wine, hike, admire and just loose oneself in nature. The skyline or rather concrete pencils remind you of the maximum use of space and walking the streets one realizes that this is an island with Kowloon and New Territories, as extra living areas.
We moved to Hong Kong in 2008 and within a year I can say that I still have to see the entire Island and the Kowloon Peninsula. There is history seeping out from every brick and tile and every nook and corner from The Kowloon Walled City that has been bull dozed to convert into a Garden with certain portions of the wall preserved as momentoes; The Peak Tram, a vertical ride up the Peak area. It has too be experienced to realize what it means of going up and then sliding down the hills with surrounding buildings appearing at an angle. The street markets, the malls, the food courts and fancy restuarants all add to the colorful enigma that is Hong Kong.
Our best experience, so far was the visit to the Nan Lian Gardens and the Chi Lin Nunnery. The Garden, though at first appearance a cosmetic one is a creative wonder with nearly 3000 trees of 59 varieties. Rocks of different sizes and shapes are placed at different places and the high light of the Garden is the Pavilion of Absolute Perfection which has a tower covered with gold leaf and connected to the two ponds with orange bridges.
Visitors to the Garden are expected to walk on designated paths so do not expect a picnic.
From here cross over to the Chi Lin Nunnery, the largest in this part of the world. It has to be visited to experience the serene atmosphere despite being surrounded by a concrete jungle all around. The Nunnery is responsible for the upkeep of the Nan Lian Garden.
It was a day well spent because one does want some green spaces amidst the traffic and buildings. I make it a point to take my overseas guests to the Garden. Hong Kong has other Garden but somehow this one takes the lead.
We visited Macau too but that is another story.
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Published on 6/18/09