Perfume Pagoda

Trip Start Jul 13, 2009
Trip End Jul 20, 2010

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Monday, February 15, 2010

The Worship of Tet
Mike and I booked an excursion to the Perfume Pagoda.  It is one of the most important religious sites of Buddhism in Vietnam. The pagoda itself was built into limestone cliffs and only can be reached by boat or on foot, as there are no roads around the area.  We were lucky on our time of visit.  It was the time of the year were the locals follow their tradition.  The Vietnamese on their Lunar New Year (Tet) conduct a pilgrimage through the grounds of Perfume Pagoda.  They make way by taking boats rowed by women down the Day River, passing the 1st pagoda and lighting incence and saying their prayers (health, prosperity, long life) then on to the main entrance of the larger pagodas. When our boat was docked, we were taken by a local guide to a restaurant and passed other eateries displaying their main catch of the day (and I don't mean fish!).  I stuck with the tofu.  If you check out the pictures you would understand why.  After lunch, Mike and I wandered the grounds to each pagoda and saw swarms of locals casting out their intentions to their spiritual world.  Some leave fruit, cigarettes, and fake money for their loved ones who have passed.  The largest area of worship we came across was this massive cave where others would leave small baby boy dolls (hoping for a boy in their family), and fake money stuck in the cravasses of the limestone walls for wealth.  In this cave was an area where water dripped from the ceiling and everyone crowded around it to try to touch drops for eternal life.  One dropped on the top of my head as I tried to get through the crowd (hmmm...).  What an amazing festival to be a witness to!  Before we left, I lit an incence for Mom...
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