After a tearful farewell with Dam, her uncle took us by car along with her parens to a historical city called “Ninh Binh“, which had been the capital of Vietnam for many years. After an hour and a half ride we reached a giant pagoda, a monumental 539 hectare monastery. It only costed us $5 to get inside.
We approached these giant and beautiful carved doors guarded by 2 giant warriors. We took a right turn and headed down a narrow hallway called “Alley of Saints”. In this hall, 504 Buddha statues all lined up in a row and behind them a background of gold.
We walked up to the tower and we bought an extra ticket to go to the top. As we walked to the higher level, there was a giant ass golden buddha sitting in the centre of this large room, ready to greet visitors. Behind the Buddha was a giant golden leaf. In order to get to the roof, you had to walk around the big guy, therefore, the walk is called the “circle of life”, which brought good omens.
Dam’s parent’s were praying each time we came across a prayer room. The feeling I got when I saw Dam’s parents praying – I felt very fortunate and cultured. Being able to experience and live in a whole different environment where religion, traditions, and culture is different from your own background makes life more valuable and even more of a reason to keep travelling and explore in order to reach a common goal with everyone – Respect and kindness.
…TO BE CONTINUED…