The Chi Lin Nunnery

An Oasis of Calmness, Serenity and Beauty

The Chi Lin Nunnery is a large and splendid Buddhist complex that combine arresting architecture, intricate and exquisite bonsai gardens and lotus ponds, and the soft chanting sounds of resident nuns and followers to fill you with a sense of serenity and inner peace, just blocks from the skyscrapers and mayhem of the city.

Chi Lin Nunnery

Located in the Diamond Hill district, a visit to the Nunnery can be easily combined with the gorgeous Nan Lian Gardens which are just accross the street. And although not exactly around the corner, both can be easily reached with the MTR, the gardens and nunnery are only a five-minute walk away from the Diamond Hill Station.

The Chi Lin Nunnery, founded in the 1930's, is committed to promote Chinese culture and Buddhist understanding and awareness as well as to provide education and welfare services for the elderly and the needy.

The buildings and structures that you see today were completely rebuilt in 1998.

This is not an "ancient" monastery, in fact, the temples, halls and courtyards have a "newness" feel to it, but despite that, the techniques and craftmanship employed follow the traditional ways of Chinese Tang Dynasty ancient architecture.

In following with that tradition, only natural materials have been used, wood, stone, and clay, and not one single nail has been employed to hold the structures together.

The complex consists of a series of gates, courtyards, corridors and terraces that flank the main temple halls which are prominently in the center.

Dotted throughout are statues and stone carvings, lots of blooming bouganvillea...

Blooming Bouganvilleas adorn the courtyards at the Chi Lin Nunnery

...bonsai trees, cypresses, incense urns...

Hall of Celestial Kings on one end of the  courtyard dotted with bonsai trees

... and beautiful lotus ponds...

Lotus Ponds at the Chi Lin Nunnery

Front and center on opposite ends of the courtyards are the main Halls. It is hard to believe these majestic structures are put together without a single nail.

Inside the Halls are images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. There is no photography allowed inside any of the prayer Halls.

Chi Lin Nunnery

And take time to also admire the details, on the roof, windows, doors...

Detail of the Door Handles at the Chi Lin Nunnery

All courtyards, bushes, and ponds are meticulously maintained...

All courtyards, ponds are meticulously maintained at the Chi Lin Nunnery

After your visit, cross the overhead pedestrian bridge to the other side of the street...

Overhead pedestrian bridge from Chi Lin Nunnery to Nan Lian Garden

It will bring you to the Nan Lian Garden, another beautiful and tranquil place to unwind...

Nan Lian Garden Pavillion and Red Bridge

Here's more on the Nan Lian Garden.

Visiting the Chi Lin Nunnery

Temple Halls at the Chi Lin Nunnery

Getting There: Take the MTR Kwun Tong Line (Green Line) to Diamond Hill Station. It should take about 20 minutes from Tsim Sha Tsui and slightly more from Admiralty/Central. Follow the signs from the station, it is about a 5 minute walk to the gardens.

Hours: Halls from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm., Courtyards and Ponds 7:00 am to 7:00 pm

How Much?: FREE

Know Before You Go:

  • Photography/Video is not allowed inside the Halls
  • Please dress appropriately.
  • Also convenient/nearby: Nan Lian Garden (next door), Wong Tai Sin Temple (One MTR station away), Saikung (not "nearby" but direct buses to Saikung depart from Diamond Hill station making it very convenient, trip takes about 40-45 minutes)

More Info: www.chilin.org. (site in Chinese)

Private Tours to Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden: A half-day or full-day tour including a stop to the Chi Lin Nunnery and next-door Nan Lian Garden, leave all the planning to the experts, depart from your hotel and cover some of the best of Kowloon and Hong Kong.


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