Hong Kong: Day 7 - Chi Lin Nunnery, Nan Lian Garden, Plaza Hollywood

Lotus flowers in pond

If you thought my last post was short and rushed, I'll make this even shorter! I'm getting less coherent by the post probably, but I've fallen asleep three or more times trying to go through the ~330 or so photos from today, and in a last attempt, I'm writing this post before I am gone for good. Without further ado: The sun dawned on our last morning in Macau as we hurriedly showered and then made to pack everything up neatly in our suitcases and hustle out to breakfast at the hotel's dining room.

We went for a walk afterwards, taking a different direction to the one we'd usually taken in the past few days, walking to some of the placed we'd reached by car the previous day, or had driven past. One of those places was the place where we had lunch, and other was the giant golden lotus that was the present to Macau from China when they became a Special Administrative Region… or something. I admit I'm a bit unclear on these details.

Lotus tower

We walked back to the hotel, worried about the time. I really wanted to visit Royal supermarket to see if there was some stuff I could still grab, but they weren't even open yet when we stared at it from across the road. We decided to return to the hotel first and then come check on Royal again before we left. However, my 250MB of 3G that had lasted me those three days chose that moment to run out and so I gave up on that idea – instead we checked out, hopped on the next shuttle bus to the terminal and caught the next available ferry back to Hong Kong.

Arriving in Hong Kong waters, it took a while to reactive my Power3G sim card, but it was such a relief when it worked. The SmarTone card from Macau had given me such hell with internet connection, but here it was almost blazingly fast in comparison, not to mention it was also unlimited. But anyway! After going to our hotel to check on the bags we left there, and fetch our new rooms, we were informed there was only one room for us so far, so my family gathered in there with our many bags, just relaxing and recharging a little. We needed lunch before we could be on our way, little did I know we were going to eat snake though. Oh well!

Time to eat snakesRice with your snake

We took the MRT, changing trains twice until we reached Diamond Hill, where we walked a short distance to the Chi Lin Nunnery. We'd been to similar places over the past few days, so I knew what to do, but the architecture here was different again to the ones at the places I'd been before today. As part of architecture from the Tang Dynasty, the buildings were created so that they all slotted together and needed no nails to hold the building up. They also bore a resemblance to Japanese architecture at this time.

Chi Lin Nunnery

There was a special house there in the adjoining Nan Lian Garden that showed various ways things like pillars and beams were held together so that even though nails weren't used, the building was still perfectly sturdy. There were also scale models of other buildings, such as the emperor's mansion. It was a shame that no photography was allowed inside, or it would have been fascinating as something to look back on. The models and examples inside were all glossy though, looking extremely well kept but just out of reach.

Back at the Chi Lin Nunnery though, the view was still spectacular, overlooking a pond of lotuses, with paths crisscrossing it. At some point, the Buddhist monks began their evening session, and we watched for a bit before we left, heading towards the aforementioned Nan Lian Garden. It was the very picture of a Chinese garden, you'd probably get the same effect from the Chinese Gardens in Darling Harbour in Sydney, but this was much more majestic – it was so large! Although we didn't, you could eat vegetarian food there, being attached to a nunnery.

Nan Lian Garden

Our sightseeing done for the day, we returned back to the MTR station in order to enter the adjoined Plaza Hollywood, where my dad and brother first defaulted to a store called 'Broadway' which mostly sells technology, like laptops, phones, camera gear, and so on. It was pretty obvious I couldn't afford anything, though my dad asked about prices for the Nikon 1, but obviously the lenses wouldn't compatible with anything else we had already.

I went off to UNIQLO after that, as I'd seen it on Foursquare and there were certain things I'd promised to get. It was difficult navigating this one, because it had different items in it, and there were just things which I wasn't able to find. I did purchase a hoodie in there though, plus an additional item which took a long time to choose!

Purchases done, I'd promised to meet my mother at the jeweller's downstairs, specifically Chow Tai Fook. I won't mention what went down, but needless to say I was a shocked at the money which was spent.. I'm still wondering about that choice.

Dinner rolls around and one must eat, we took escalators back upstairs again to the food court, which they refer to as 'Food Republic'. There was a Teppanyaki store there, so we enjoyed that, though the chef made several mistakes so ended up giving me extra… no wonder there was so much food. I wonder how much I actually ate….?

Testing shot of bag

The rest was mundane, supermarket shopping for some fruit as my mother bought bread/biscuits we probably didn't need from the bakery, taking the MTR from Diamond Hill back to our hotel via a different route but still necessitating two changes, and testing my brother's new 35mm lens on the bed, as well as finally receiving and choosing a hotel room to be in.

I'm exhausted now, so I'll sleep.