The Little Koo blog turns 3!

Wow, I have been blogging for three years now, can you believe it? This little blog started off with the intention of promoting the Little Koo Etsy shop (don’t forget about the closing down sale btw, only 5 more days!) but I enjoyed writing about Hong Kong so much that it ended up being mostly about the things I see and do here, with a bit of craft stuff thrown in.

So, in celebration, I thought I’d recap some of my most popular posts over the last few years. Maybe you haven’t seen them yet, or maybe you’ve just forgotten! On the topic of Hong Kong, here are some of the most-seen posts over the last few years:

Nan Lian gardens

Nan Lian Gardens and Chi Lin Nunnery

 

Shau Kei Wan typhoon shelter

Hong Pak – a walk with a nice surprise at the end

 

Shroff sign

English usage in Hong Kong

 

Wide view from Jardines Lookout

An uphill climb to Jardine’s Lookout

 

Chek Keng 3

Maclehose trail stage 2: hills, beaches and lots of rain!

 

Shek O beach and headland

Life’s a beach in Shek O

 

I hope you’re enjoying my Candid Hong Kong series too, where I post random photos I’ve taken around Hong Kong to show a snapshot of life here.

Outside of Hong Kong, I’ve also blogged about some of our travels around Asia. My posts about our holiday in Malaysia where we stopped off at the Cameron Highlands, Georgetown (Penang) and Langkawi have also been pretty popular.

On the craft side, my post about buying craft supplies in Hong Kong has been by far and away the most popular post I’ve ever written. I’ve tried to make it a really useful resource, and I’m constantly updating and adding to it. However, I do love to make things myself with the supplies I find, and these have been some of my most popular ‘makes’:

Fabric covered shell handbag

Covering a box clutch purse – a no sew handbag!

 

Handmade wire button heart

How to make a wire button heart

 

Moravian star mobile

Making a froebel star mobile

 

Hand decorated jars

Hand decorated jam jar luminaries

 

Woolly pompoms galore

Two ways of making woolly pompoms

 

Ok, so that’s it for my round up. What’s your favourite post? Have you ever tried any of the crafts I’ve featured on this blog? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Candid Hong Kong – traditional versus modern

Every fortnight I share a photo that shows a little insight into Hong Kong life. Sometimes they are things that made me smile, classic Hong Kong sights or just really unusual things.

I’ve already written about the Nan Lian Gardens before, but they really are a beautiful sight. The trees are immaculately shaped into the Chinese style and the buildings and bridges are also in that lovely traditional style architecture. This is one of my favourite shots – looking at that beautiful bridge surrounded by landscaping and the ever-present high rise apartment buildings in the background. Very Hong Kong!

150908 Candid Hong Kong Nan Lian Gardens

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Nan Lian Gardens and Chi Lin Nunnery

If you’re looking for a peaceful getaway for a couple of hours in Hong Kong, then I’d recommend the Nan Lian Gardens and Chi Lin Nunnery, which are right next to each other. They are also very easy to find – leave Diamond Hill MTR station by exit C1, turn left and walk round the corner (to the left). Cross the road and you are at the entrance to the gardens.

Both the gardens and nunnery were built very recently (there isn’t much in Hong Kong that is old!), but in a traditional style which is very attractive. The gardens have a recommended route which you are directed to walk round and you are not allowed to eat or drink (or presumably have any fun!).

One of the first things you come across in the gardens is a building housing a number of scale models of wooden structures from around China which are made without the use of any fixings such as nails (both the models and the original buildings). In fact, the Chi Lin Nunnery is made like this.

Other highlights from around the gardens include a banyan tree grove with tables and benches (a nice place to sit and chat or read a book):

Nan Lian Gardens banyan trees

There is also a tea house where you can learn about Chinese tea and have some tea ceremoniously made up for you, which is a lovely traditional pastime although the tea house is a little expensive. The tea house is housed in this long, low building:

Nan Lian Gardens tea house

There are also lots of structures, such as this bright pagoda in the middle of a pond:

Nan Lian Gardens pagoda…and other traditional style structures…

Nan Lian Gardens bridge

If you have been following the path marked for you, you will finish by the viewing platform, which has a nice view over the park.

Nan Lian gardens

Continuing along the viewing platform (so that you are walking away from the park) takes you over a bridge right to the entrance of the Chi Lin Nunnery, which is just across the road. If you don’t want to go over the bridge, there is an exit from the park by the viewing platform, which takes you to the road – simply cross the road and you are outside the nunnery.

Whilst you may spend an hour or so in the Nan Lian Gardens, you will probably spend significantly less time in the Chi Lin Nunnery as it isn’t very big (but you may wish to spend longer worshipping at the Buddhist shrines). The pictures below show the first main courtyard where you can admire the beautiful wooden structure and look at the lily ponds. However, you must not sit on the walls or steps – you will be moved on pretty quickly! There are a few chairs around the edge of the courtyard if you desperately need to sit for a bit.

Chi Lin Nunnery

Chi Lin Nunnery lily ponds

Chi Lin Nunnery 2

Continue straight on to reach the second courtyard which has a number of shrines around the edge. I didn’t take any photos in this area as I didn’t wish to cause offence. Each shrine is dedicated to a different Buddha and has an accompanying explanation.

The Nan Lian Gardens and Chi Lin Nunnery are beautiful examples of traditional Chinese style architecture, although they are very new and pristine so some people don’t like them. I’ve visited them a couple of times now and always found it to be a very relaxing and interesting experience.

Thanks for reading!

Rachel