The statuesque Chi Lin Nunnery in Diamond Hill, standing as an oasis dividing the urban crush of Kowloon from the rocky shoals of Lion Rock. It’s an immense complex, most of which is hidden behind the main hall, cordoned off from those without more devout purposes. It looks almost like a postcard of a Buddhist temple, the mental idea of a temple, the sketched rendering of the temple before the first stone is actually laid; perhaps this is a side-effect of the fastidiousness of the nuns who live here, perhaps it is the result of the still-newness of the place. While the original nunnery was built in the 1930’s, in that cruel, dispassionate way that modernization happens, it was knocked down to build a tunnel. Funds were raised; the temple was rebuilt over a two-decade period, finally opening in 2000. By Buddhist standards, the paint’s not even dry yet.
The new temple was meant to imitate the style of the Tang Dynasty, the 300-year period when Buddhism first found a home in imperial China. If the architecture reminds you of its Japanese counterpart, there’s a good reason: Sino-Japanese relations flourished during that period, leaving a deep cultural impression that would reveal itself over the following centuries. The Nunnery is built from cured cypress, which was assembled according to traditional bracketing techniques; it was built without the use of a single nail. It’s currently the largest free-standing wooden building in the world. Walking through it, you can sense the harmony of the place, a spiritual world inches apart from the incoherent business that surrounds it. It feels, standing amidst the granite ponds and giant, hewn cypress trunks, like harmonious architecture manifest, a stark contrast to the noise and gaudy, gilded grandeur of the temple cultures of Southeast Asia.
Throwback to our hike in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador 🌿🤗 •
We hiked for hours, learning about the forest and the people that lived within it. At one point we crossed a small river on a thin log with unsure footing, having only sticks to hold on to. The murky water came up to our chests, and we learned it was home to leeches 😣 •
On the canoe ride back, our guide stopped in the middle of the caiman-filled lake and told us if we wanted to go for a swim, now is the time because they should be asleep during the day. We were all a bit hesitant at first..but went for it anyways 😛 It was such a thrill! And an amazing day of memories to look back on ❤️☺️
The incredible Machu Picchu, Peru 🇵🇪⠀
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( 📸 Credit @destinoenmispies)⠀
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