I just returned from Beijing where I visited The Great Wall, The Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, a famous hutong, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Ming Tombs, etc. I cannot wait to share my experiences! Before I left Hong Kong, I went to Nan Lian Garden and the Chi Lin Nunnery. They are near the Diamond Hill MTR stop and ~45min from Wan Chai. It cooled off to 65F and I actually wore jeans. It was the perfect sightseeing weather.
Entry into both the garden and nunnery is free. The gardens are known for their traditional Chinese landscaping. I had to seriously edit myself from posting every picture. I got carried away with its beauty.
I probably walked around for two hours. It was so serene. Surprisingly, it wasn’t very crowded either.
Immediately north of Nan Lian Garden is the Chi Lin Nunnery. Chi Lin Nunnery, other than being a part of a monastery campus, is known for its beautiful bonsai. WOW.
The nunnery was built in 1930. You couldn’t turn a corner without seeing a bonsai tree. I wish their age was listed along with the descriptions. They were amazing. Bonsais are not easy. The care that’s needed to maintain them all is incredible. Here are some other historical landmarks we visited in Wan Chai:
Afterwards I intended to go to a very famous vegetarian restaurant that’s nearby for lunch. However, it was already 3p. Time had gotten away from me– more importantly, the vegetarian restaurant closed at 3p. Luckily, the MTR station nearby also housed a mall with many restaurants. I had fun window shopping at a mall that didn’t have stores like Armani, Gucci, Chloe, Prada, etc.
By the way, if you compare the prices of Western stores in HK to the prices in the US, the US prices are much cheaper. The only reason Hong Kong has such a reputation for shopping is there are many nearby countries that don’t have these stores due to tariffs. So people come here to shop because it’s their only option. If you are visiting from the US, shopping for US brands should only occur if you are in dire need of something or don’t mind spending the extra cash….it’s a lot of extra cash too. I did a comparison of one high end jacket. It was a 20% mark-up in Hong Kong compared to the USA cost.
Stay tuned for adventures from Beijing!