Hong Kong’s City Oasis of Nan Lian Gardens & Chi Lin Nunnery

Hong Kong’s City Oasis of Nan Lian Gardens & Chi Lin Nunnery

Nestled in between the high-rise apartment block of the Diamond Hill neighbourhood,Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Gardens provide a welcome respite from the frantic pace of Hong Kong.  This 1930s compound replicates the iconic Tang Dynasty style of broad wooden architecture and red and gold pavilions to bring a sense of tradition to such a modern surrounding.

The grounds also host one of the best Vegetarian restaurants in the city (Chi Lin Vegetarian) and a quanit yet exclusive tea rooms behind a flowing waterfall.Now I am slightly less budget focused I can’t wait to revisit this center of tranquility and get my Tofu on!

hong kong nan lian nan lian gardennan lian gardens nan-lian-garden10nan-lian-gardennan lian chi lin chi lin nunnery and nan lian gardenschi lin nunnery hong kongchi lin nunnery

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The Two Sides of Hong Kong Bay

The Two Sides of Hong Kong Bay

When I lived in Cebu one of my favourite weekend escapes was Hong Kong. I love the city for it’s vibrancy and electric mix of cultures – the British colonial legacies gave me a reminder of home when I needed it, while the Chinese aromas and hectic 24-7 buzz was an exciting change of pace compared to the relaxed lifestyle of the Philippines.

The water in Hong Kong is like the blood in the veins of the city; essential to every part of everyday life. On my visits I preferred to stay in the Wan Chai area on Hong Kong Island – and while the MTR connects it directly to Kowloon, taking the Star Ferry is just as convenient, affordable and thoroughly more enjoyable. During the day you are treated to expansive city vistas, while at night the skyscrapers are covered in beautiful lights which reflect across the bay.

The following photos were taken on my first trip on the ferries in February 2012. Everywhere I looked was picturesque, and while I’d been interested in it before this is the point I started thinking about photographing my travels more seriously. The day was cold and overcast, yet the city managed to stay atmospheric and full of character.

hong kong star ferry hong kong ferry hong kong skyline hong kong star ferry This second set is from my third trip in September 2012 while coming back from Lantau Island. The timing of this journey was perfect as the ferry glided into the bay as the sun was setting, turning the buildings into columns of gold.

hk bayhong kong ferryhong kong island bayhong kong bay hong kong hong kong bayWhile I did use the ferries on my 2nd trip, it was unfortunately too miserable and rainy to have enough visibility to capture anything other than fat raindrops on my camera.

Hong Kong is a city I could see myself spending more time in, there is always something to see and do, and retains a bit of character and a more ‘European’ edge than other major SE Asian cities. And while a city of it’s size can seem overwhelming at times, being able to spend time on the water with such beautiful surroundings maintains and sense of clarity for me while I’m in Hong Kong.

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