Vĩnh Phước

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    • Day 25

      Berg Sam

      January 2, 2020 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 34 °C

      In der Nähe von Chau Doc liegt der kleine Berg Sam. Am Bergfuß liegt die Pagode der hochverehrten Lady Chua Xu, der in der Hoffnung auf Glück und Erfolg viieele Geschenke geopfert werden.
      Danach ging es zum benachbarten Tempel Tay An mit vielen religiösen Figuren meist aus dem Buddhismus.Read more

    • Day 61

      Along the Mekong River

      November 12, 2016 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

      Our day started bright and early to meet our tour guide who would take us on a small boat to the floating markets. We met Cho (our guide) in the hotel lobby at 6am and proceeded to walk through the lively market adjacent to our hotel towards the boat ramp where we boarded our boat, driven by a Vietnamese lady.

      We bobbed down ther river for an hour, avoiding the bow waves of larger bully boats while observing the large amount of rubbish floating down river which kept getting stuck in the propeller. 1 hour later, and we arrived at the floating markets - a wholesale market where items like pineapple, sweet potato and watermelon are sold in bulk to local restaurant owners, market sellers and hotels. To determine what was for sale on each boat, a bamboo stick flying the boats produce is placed at the rear of the boat to entice buyers. Sellers come from far and wide from along the Mekong River and depending on the type of produce sold they stayed at the market for 1-2 days for items like pineapple or 1-2 weeks for items like sweet potato which has a longer shelf/boat life. Apparently the busiest time of year for the market is just before the New Year where watermelon is in high demand, as it is the main celebratory fruit.

      The great thing about this market is that, as it is wholesale, there is no one hassling you to buy anything, so you get to lay back and enjoy the experience without fear of being targeted as a tourist. After a few trips around the market, we headed up a tributary to gain a bit more of an insight to the local way of life, with young children waving and yelling hello at us all the way. The children here are absolutely gorgeous and it warms my soul everytime I see them.

      We made a stop at a local rice noodle factory where they make between 300-400kg of dried rice noodles per day which is sold to local restaurants. I thought this volume was excessive given the smaller population of the surrounding area but Cho informed us that this volume was no where near enough and the factory is one of two that services the local area to make sure they have enough rice noodles to keep them going. To make the rice noodles, the liquid (50% rice powder and 50% cassava powder mixed with water) is cooked on a circular hot plate for a few minutes and then placed on a sheet of bamboo where it is dried for 3 hours in the sun. After it has dried the rice paper is dipped in water for 1-2 seconds to make it softish before it is put through a rice noodle press, to turn a sheet into individual noodles. The noodles are then packaged up into 1kg bags and transported by bike to local restaurants. As the factory has two ovens, the inside temperature was incredibly warm and made it difficult to hang around too long, but the amazing workers do it everyday.

      Just outside the factory we stopoed for breakfast comprising Vietnamese coffee, pho, pineapple and dried banana rice cake before making our way back to the boat to head back towards our hotel. On the way back we spoke to Cho about his options for immigrating with his real work as an engineer and methods for teaching English to others. Jamie recommended listening to the BBC World Service, I recommended anything non American. We weren't very helpful.

      Back at our hotel, I managed to fit in a quick run before our shuttle bus was due to pick us up to take us back to the bus station. Our plan was to take a bus towards the Vietnam/Cambodia border where we would stop and stay in Chau Doc for the evening before taking a speedboat up the Mekong River into Cambodia and to Phnom Penh. The bus fares are very cheap, costing us only £4 pounds each on the local bus for a 4 hour journey. The bus even comes with free water and wifi. New Zealand could learn a thing or two from this.

      On board the bus, we settled into watching a few tv shows on my tablet before we stopped at the halfway point so the driver could have some lunch. On arrival, Jamie got a pat on the back and turned around to find our friend Gauthier, who we met on the train from Moscow to Irkutsk. If there was any definition of a small world, this was it. The three of us stared and laughed in disbelief that in the middle of the Mekong delta, we had found ourselves on the same little bus. After a quick catch up during the break, we got back on the bus with promises of beers in Chau Doc later that night.

      It was not long until we were off the bus again being transfered to a larger sleeper bus, which was massively more comfortable than the one previous. For the rest of the journey, I could lie back and message Mum, Kels and Maevie back home in New Zealand while transversing the banks of the Mekong.

      We arrived at Chau Doc and quickly found our hotel, threw down our bags and hit the streets to try and book a boat that would take us up the river in the morning. We walked 1km towards the river until we arrived at the Victoria hotel which also had a speedboat service. We enquired and were told that their service was really only for hotel guests only but we could get on if we paid $89 USD pp. The prices on the internet indicated that other providers cost around $25 USD pp, so quickly left.

      On our way back towards our hotel we ran in Gauthier again and together we worked out where to go and found a boat company who would take us for $25 USD. We toasted our success on not being ripped off with a few beers at a local street restaurant by the river before making our way back towards our hotel for dinner and sleep.
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    • Day 4

      Buddhist temple

      January 16, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      After an early breakfast we headed to Sam Mountain a important symbol of Chau Doc town to visit the Cave Pagoda.

      The Pagoda Cave is a buddhist temple with a combination of temple buildings and caves. We did not expect much to be honest but we were blown away by the magnificent temple buildings, gardens and views from the temple.

      Ironically this is the best kept building we have seen so far. If I was born in Vietnam, I mustv be honest I would prefer to be a buddhist monk as they seem the have the best life's here.

      The photo of the golden buddha sculpture, almost looks like he sit and laugh as his got all the money and riches.

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    • Day 4

      Cave Pagoda Temple

      January 16, 2017 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 0 °C

      I still get the same sort of uneasiness in temples that I got 30 years ago with my mom and grandmother in Turkey.

      Taking of your shoes, entering the temple with your right foot first, rule driven not directed by love.

      An amazing setting for this magnitude of a structure built on top off a mountain. Inside there are lots of smallercave temples all with unique praying areas covered with the best decorations. The views surrounding it, is beautiful, but given I have no religious bond with what this all entails its just statues to me. The monks fascinated me and I agree with Dolf that they have the best life's here.

      It was great to see, definitely a glimpse into the religious side of the Vietnamese culture, as the majority of them are Buddhists. People travel from very far to come and visit and pray in this Pagoda.

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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Vĩnh Phước, Vinh Phuoc

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