Vietnam : Day 4 “Ninh Binh” (Continued)

After walking pass the big fat guy, we reached the golden chamber on the very top floor thanks to the elevator. When we arrived at the chamber, the amount of gold inside there took my breath away! Imagine being struck my Nirvana but with golden lotus flowers everywhere and surrounded by reincarnated happy buddhas all smiling at you, and probably laughing at you in heaven because of this gaze on your face that you can’t help but make when you look around the golden chamber. Nothing but sumptuous tiles and marbles surrounding you.




I went to the balcony and there it had a panoramic view over the monastery, the foggy mountains, the valley in the river, unlike some places were human architecture destroys the face of the earth here it was all balanced and in perfect harmony just like Buddhism I guess. After we left the temple we visited a giant fat happy Buddha on top of a hill. As I walked up the stairs I felt like I was going to heaven. The tropical weather was getting to my head it was so hot in humid, I think it was 33°C.


The man of the hour

We went around the main temple to visit a sacred grotto. There, we walked by an alley of giant turtles with Buddhist prayers on their backs. During our visit, there was school field trip that came and all the children greeted us and said “Hello!”. It was the only word they knew. Oh, kids.

Dam’s parents took us to the sacred grotto where we discovered statues and other subjects of prayers. There we saw a woman on her knees kneeling before a gold buddha and was writing calligraphic wishes and putting them into a bucket while 3 other women were bowing heads down and praying. For me, I just stood there and snapped, snapped, and snappped 📷 “Bend and snap” – Legally Blonde.


Also, I saw 3 massive golden Buddhas with swastikas on their chests. It’s a religious meaning, not a racial meaning. Buddhism also shares the similar Nazi symbol, however the only difference is that the Buddhist swastika is not angled but just centered.

After a long walk around the area, we finally decided to head back and our driver took us to a river where we rowed back and forth for 4 hours. It was quite the workout! 💦 Through the river we passed through caves and above us were bats and spiders. Fun.

We were officially exhausted after this day. We crashed at a coffee shop before saying goodbye to Dam’s parents. They were such kind and patient folks. While waiting for the train, we met a French man called Thomas, who was on his way to Hue. We exchanged info and agreed to call each other when we both reached Hue.



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