Oasis within the city 鬧市中的綠洲志蓮淨苑
OASIS WITHIN THE CITY
香港近年長期霧霾彌漫， 蔚藍天空是稀客 。 難得有一日， 天朗氣清，碧空如洗， 我剛好到志蓮淨苑和南蓮園池一遊。 志蓮淨苑是仿唐風格建築， 寺廟和大堂都以檜木建造，特色是全沒用上一口釘子， 絕對是巧妙絕倫的建築方法。 大雄殿是志蓮淨苑的主寶殿， 門外種了幾棵日式盆栽， 還有一座很大的蓮花香爐，睛空下構成了一張沁人心脾的圖畫。從志蓮淨苑走過行人天橋便到南蓮園池。這裡小橋流水， 山明水秀， 縱使旁邊矗立着高樓，但仍然能感到身處於鬧市中的綠洲。
Hong Kong is notorious for its smog covered skies in recent years. It’s not as bad as some of its neighbour cities up in the north, but nonetheless not exactly a very pleasant sky to live under. The sky was clear and blue on one random day recently. One that I haven’t seen for a while, in Hong Kong or Taiwan or otherwise. I couldn’t have made it more beautiful with any photo editing tools.
CHI LIN NUNNERY
I happened to be at Chi Lin Nunnery that day. This is a Tang Dynasty (AD618 -907) style buddhist temple built right in the middle of Kowloon, towered by tall residential buildings. The whole complex was built in the 1990’s and consists of a 16 halls all built of wood. The halls doesn’t use a single nail in the whole structure. They are interlocked together like jigsaw puzzles using traditional building techniques.
This is the inner part of the temple, the main hall. The bonsai trees outside were carefully manicured. Rows of pink flowers on the edge of the lawn complemented it perfectly to create a picturesque ambience.
My favourite structure is the lotus burner standing directly in front of the main hall. The design is so intricate and elegant and there’s a smaller lotus sitting inside the main lotus. Incense sticks are burnt in here as offering to the gods in the temple.
NAN LIAN GARDEN
After Chi Lin Nunnery, I walked across the walkway to Nan Lian Garden. The garden is surrounded by four main roads, all which are some of the busiest roads in Kowloon. Cars were zooming by underneath the walk way, but the serenity of the surroundings shrouded any annoying modern day city buzz.
Like Chi Lin Nunnery, Nan Lian Garden is a Tang dynasty style garden. Traditional style wooden buildings, pavilions, lotus ponds, waterfalls, landscape rocks, bridges over streams, pagodas, water mills, traditional gutter chains are all included in the carefully designed landscape. Skyscrapers overlooked me as I was walking around the garden. However, I didn’t feel like I was bang in the middle of the city at all. This is truly an oasis within the city.