Temple Tour

Trip Start Nov 08, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I had gotten sick after the Perfume Pagoda trip. I had a cough and a fever. I had a sore throat. I had the bird flu. I had Japanese encephalitis, yellow fever, West Nile virus, and malaria. I had a cold. I took cheap antibiotics and DayQuil. I spent a week in bed watching HBO and $1 DVDs. Lindsey brought me take out sandwiches and croissants. It wasn't too bad.

I started feeling better and we decided to get out and explore the city some more. Museums weren't open. Everything closes for about a week after the Chinese New Year. Even the croissant place.

But this meant the streets were quieter. Fewer motorbikes littered the streets. There was less noise. I felt less violent toward the world.

We did a walking tour that took us to a few pagodas and by the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. It's an impressive structure with nicely landscaped gardens. It's also adjacent to the only street in the city that is closed to traffic, so it may be the quietest place in town.

We saw people burning money at the temple - a method of offering, perhaps securing prosperity.  I don't think it was real money. There was a woman at the temple who would swap real money for fake.  The gods are easily fooled.

The One Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot) was mildly cool. I like the idea. The structure was built to resemble a lotus blossom emerging from the water. Lotus blossoms are an important symbol in Buddhism. They grow from murky water untouched and pure.

But by this time my encephalitis was acting up and I was tired. My skull was suddenly too small for my brain, which had just soaked up so much culture and beauty. We headed back to the hotel so I could sleep it off.

NEW PHOTO DISPLAY METHOD:

Travel pod's upload method is slow and annoying. I'm only putting a few pictures on here.  So I'm posting large slideshows on kodak gallery.  It will be easier to view that way too.  If travel pod ever gets drag-and-drop uploads, then I'll have all the pics on here.  I'll email the slideshow to those I know want it.  If you don't have it and would like to, just email me at danep22@yahoo.com   and request "3 Temple Tour Photos"

Thanks.

-Dane
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