Friday, June 28, 2019

Hong Kong's Nan Lian Garden

The Nan Lian Garden a Classical Chinese garden of 3.5 hectares (8.6 acres) opened in 2006 as a joint project of the Hong Kong Government and the Chi Lin Nunnery across the street.  The garden is designed in the Tang Dynasty style with hills, water features, trees, rocks,and wooden structures.

I enter and find a wonderland.

Entering the park

Near the entrance, a gallery displays models of Chinese timber architecture.

 Chinese timber architecture

The center of the park has a lake with a pagoda on an island in the middle and a function hall.

 Central lake

 Function hall

The paths are beautifully designed to meander through floral and rock gardens.


The park's Rockery has a display of petrified rocks inside and a Bonsai tree presentation outside.

 The Rockery

 Bonsai art

Na Lian Garden has packed a lot into a small area.  Now, to cross the street and visit the Chi Lin Nunnery, which maintains the garden.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong

Kowloon Walled City was one of the most densely populated places on earth, with over 33,000 people living and working in the massive complex of 300 interconnected high-rise buildings that covered 2.6 hectares (6.4 acres).  From the 1950s to the 1970s, the city was controlled by local criminal triads, essentially lawless, and a became a center of prostitution, gambling, and opium abuse.  Although located in Hong Kong, the city was legally a Chinese military fort and both the Chinese and the British-run Hong Kong government ignored it.

 Model of Kowloon Walled City

In 1987, the city of Hong Kong announced plans to demolish the city and in 1995, opened a park on the site.  The park is beautiful and I spend some time just wandering.

Kowloon Walled City Park

In the center of the park, I find the Kuixing Pavilion and Guibi Rock area, one of the eight major scenes set up in the park.  In Chinese mythology, Kuixing is the God of Literature and also the fourth star (the middle star) in the big dipper.  In the courtyard of Kuixing Pavilion, Guibi Rock is the centerpiece, symbolizing the return of Hong Kong to China.  Guibi Rock is a Taihu Rock, from Tai Lake, demonstrating the four main features of such rocks:  Tou (having hollows), Shou (having clear angles), Zhou (having different shapes), and Lou (having jagged pores).

 Kuixing Pavilion

Guibi Rock

I continue on through the paths and buildings of the other side of the park, with more great sites and experiences.

 More park splendor

The Chinese Zodiac Garden is another of the park's eight scenes, with white-stone sculptured animals symbolizing people born in different years.

 Chinese Zodiac Garden

I follow the paths through gardens and floral beds to find my way back out, passing by a few remaining pieces of the walled city that was once here.

 Paths through the park

Remnants of Kowloon Walled City

This was once quite a city and is now quite a park.  A big transition from dense, crime-infested metropolis to peaceful oasis!