Pleasant Perfume Pagoda
Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
132Trip End Jan 04, 2012
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Where I stayed
What I did
Perfume Pagoda Tour
Picked up we join the tour and exchange a few hellos. We actually get picked up by a minibus which then picks up a few other people at another hotel one street over and then drives us back only 30m from our hostel/hotel to where the coach was waiting
Through the journey I overhear a Singaporean couple recognise an English gentleman and say they know him from TV on the football. I can't place him. I start a conversation later in the day to learn that he is an Economics teacher in Singapore with a past playing 2nd tier football in the UK. He now part time is a pundit on Star Sports in the asia region. Singapore's answer to Alan Hansen it seems (Note - we have since found out this guy was called Jamie Reeves if anyone cares to know). Either way, we'd met some kind of celebrity. Jamie was very friendly and talked with most of the tour, always seeking connections- I was envious of his confidence in doing this.
At our destination (2hr drive) we hopped into 6 person canoes and were paddled for an hour down river along what must be one of the most peaceful moments of our trip so far. Thanh showed us around two pagodas and explained the intracacies which cleared up a few things we'd been wandering about since China
To get to the second pagoda we had to take a cable car. This is the most poorly staffed cable car probably in the south east asia region. The cable car motor wasn't even started up until enough people were on site and so we were sat waiting until other tour groups turned up. Being out of season had given us the benefit of a quiet spot but with no transport. Eventually the cable car took us up to the upper pagoda (one inside a cave) where we were greeted by 3 dogs apparently manning (or dogging) the upper station. No human staff to be seen.
Although enjoying the company of most of the group (we mingled well with some americans and the english group), Kate and I didn't take to a couple of Israeli girls who couldn't help but moan the entire day. First they had a good whine about the fact the boat seats were wet (no kidding, we're in Vietnam and it rains all the time), and another time when they didn't want to get the boats back from the pagoda because the journey was boring. How do you please these people?! It was a beautiful peaceful trip which needed to be taken for what it was, and not for a thrill ride.
Thanh took us to one side before going back on the boats to reccommend that we tip the local boat ladies but only to a maximum of $1 per person in the boat
Over dinne, me and Kate had a few drinks. We found a nice cafe/bar in the old quarter called Gecko cafe which gave us a two course meal and 3 drinks each for about $16. We talked of where we are yet to go and the places we would have to miss out on.The alcohol having got the best of a tired Kate, when I mentioned;
"I expect we'll come back to some places again, I'd quite like to go to Seattle and then places in Canada like Vancouver"
She replied innocently
"Oh, is that where that famous dam is?"
I sniggered, as I'm sure you will when you realise which Dam she meant. She found it funny too so don't feel guilty laughing.