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White Buddha and Mosaics

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large_938978_14286903574343.jpgEarly morning, and on to Long Son Pagoda. Long Son Pagoda is famous for the 24m high white Buddha, which you can see as soon as you enter the city, and the 14m long reclining Buddha. It was nice being here so early, there weren't many other people around.

First you can go to the temple to take a look and make some pictures. It is wonderfully decorated with statues and paintings and mosaic. After that, go to the right and you will find the stairs up. It is a total of 152 steps. Halfway there is the statue of the reclining Buddha, madeof white stone. Impressive to see, the statue is also 5m high, so it's quite big. When we walked further up the stairs we also passed a tower with a big iron bell in it.

So on and on it went, passed some old ladies trying to sell fans and other trinkets in the early morning.large_938978_14286903886782.jpg We finally reached the top to see the big Buddha sitting on a lotus flower.It is just so incredibly huge! But very pretty. The stone tiled floor is also a work of art.On the lotusflower are the portrets of 7 monks, these are the ones who set themselves on fire in or around 1963. They did this because at that time the South Vietnamese regime, which was Catholic, started to persecute Buddhist monks. So in their way they protested against the fact that they couldn't practice their beliefs anymore, while catholics could. On the backside of the lotusflower is a door which leads to a small inner temple.Again because we were so early we had plenty of time to look around and make pictures.large_938978_14286904278676.jpg

Our next stop was Dalat. First we went to take a look at one of the summerhouses of the countries 10th emperor, Bao Dai. It also had a garden. The garden was wonderful! Te house itself was a big French colonial style house with furniture. Sorry to say but in my opinion we could've skipped this. I understand it's different for the Vietnamese people due to the history and everything, but just for the house, no it wasn't that interesting. So we had an icecream in the garden :)

Next we stopped at the Dalat train station. We would take the 2 pm train. The train ride itself was about half an hour. It was nice not sitting in the bus for a while, and it was pretty comfortable. It was fun and the view was nice as well, riding between the greenhouses.

After that we walked to Chua Linh Phuoc Pagoda.large_938978_14286904318237.jpg Really a highlight in Dalat you should not walk past! It is enitrely made of mosaic. It was a feast to look at. A lot of colors and decorations all over. I don't think there is one spot that is not colored.

Chua Lih Pagoda has one old temple, and one more recent built tower/temple. Outside there are quite a few statues to see as well. We decided to climb the towe for the first part, up until the big bell we could see. When we arrived the the bell appeared just huge! And there was much more to see on that floor as well. One side had a room with goldpainted Buddha statues, the other side had a temple room with one very big, Buddha in the middle, and a lot of other Buddha statues around the room. In between every bit of the tower was decoratd with flowers, dragons and other colorful things, all in mosaics.large_938978_14286910217333.jpg I don't even want to think about the time it cost to build it.

After that we went to Then Vien Truc Lam Monastery, better known as Trúc Lâm Temple. We got dropped of on top of the hill, so we only had to go 61 steps up that stairs. Apparently there is another entrance along the lake, which is 222 steps... This was another big temple complex, the public area was open for tourists, the private area where the monks and nuns live were not. It has a big bell and drum tower, and a beautiful ceremonial hall. Next to it is a really nice garden with lots of diferent flowers. You can walk past that towards the lake. From the temple grounds there's a beautiful view over the lake, very nice and worth the walk.

After that we went on to our hotel, we were pretty knackered so after dinner (and knowing we had to get up at 5.30am again, we didn't stay up late.


Posted by Astreia 17:00 Archived in Vietnam

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