Chi Lin Nunnery

Chi Lin Nunnery is the world’s largest hand-made wooden building. The Buddhist nunnery was built with no nails. Instead, the builders used traditional Chinese methods to cut interlocking pieces of wood.

I found the nunnery a peaceful place enhanced by several lotus ponds. As you walk around, there are many large stones with an engaging quote underneath them, such as:

Going around places with scissors and a ruler
Busy everyday with thread and needles,
Measuring the longs and shorts of all other people,
When is one going to measure one’s own merits and shortcomings?

Chan master Qing Gong, Yuan Dynasty


We should focus on the right way,
act in accordance with virtue and benevolence,
and find relaxation in the arts


Next to the nunnery is Nan Lian Garden. Like the nunnery, the garden is built in the Chinese Tang style and based on a traditional Chinese landscape garden.

The garden was busier than the nunnery, with lots of people taking photos. At one point, someone asked me to take a photo of her standing in front of a waterfall. After I took one photo, her friend appeared and, with a giggle, said she could take the photo and why was she asking me. Instead of listening to her, the person asked me take to take a few more photos. She said something about me being a professional photographer, presumably based on my camera around my neck! My guess is that her friend probably didn’t take the sort of photos the person who asked me wanted.

Leave a Reply