Won Tai Sin Temple: Although we got there fairly early, the temple was already packed with coach trips. It's so strange how this temple is surrounded by skyscrapers. At the front you are submerged in the bustle of people trying to take photos with statues, stroking the lions paws and giving offerings. The garden at the back is totally different. Somehow the pools of water and crafted bridges create such a peaceful atmosphere that you almost forget you're in the middle of the city.
Chi Lin Nunnery: It was a bit of walk but we eventually found the nunnery. This is another that I wish I'd read more about beforehand. Like the temple, the nunnery is surrounded by sky scrapers and busy roads. You just walk up some stairs opposite a shopping centre and there is it is. The architecture is truly stunning and in the garden below there is a minature representation which shows it's true complexity. There are bonzai trees all around the central square and we watched the gardener go around each on and deliately trim their edges. I recommened looking around the whole nunnery before going into the garden down the steps. It is a sight to see itself. We didn't walk around the whole of it because the heat was starting to drain us. From these pictures though, you can hopefully see how colourful and vibrant the garden is. I imagine that even on a rainy day it would be a sight to see.
The Walled City: This was perhaps one of my favourite cultural sights that we visited. Rather unexpectedly too. On the way we caught a view of Lions Rock. It look me a while to see why it is named so because it's mainly the head of the Lion and not the whole body. Pretty cool anyway. On reaching the walled city we went through the East entrance. We walked around examining some more bonsai trees before going to the exhibition bit in the centre. Here the building from the old walled city still remains. Inside there are various games and videos which teach you about the walled city and it's residents. I learnt so much and their interactive methods of getting the information across were really effective. Standing under the trees, it was hard to imagine the walled city as it would have been. Listening the some of the residents reflecting on their everyday life in the city, the closeness of both the houses and the residents, made me want to read more of the history of the city. The area now seems very different from what it was a few decades ago.
We did quite a lot of walking this day and so ended the day with a big meal. We went to Tasty Congee and Noodle Wontun Shop in the ICC and I was not disappointed. The meals are pretty sizable and if you are with a big group I recommend getting the prawns in sweet and sour sauce to share. Oh and the sweet pork buns are bloody delicious.