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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

N Vietnam 2012 - Day 4, Part 1 - Trấn Quốc Pagoda

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." - Woody Allen

***

N Vietnam 2012
Day 4 - 27th May - Trấn Quốc Pagoda
(Part 1)

The hostel receptionist was out of ideas for breakfast, so I wandered the streets.

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Yellow rice with some yam-like thing on top, and fried shallots. I showed the hostel girl the photo and she said it was green bean (I think she meant mung)

Service at this street food stall was quite good - the lady put a small stool on a big one for me to sit on.

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Preparation area

When I got back to the hostel I talked to my first Québécoise (I'd dropped my map there). The accent was very novel (and unfortunately hard to understand); she said she'd travelled with a French girl who had also had difficulties.

The first stop of the day was West Lake. Yes, copying China they have a West Lake too, though it isn't as nice.

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West Lake (Hồ Tây)

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Trấn Quốc Pagoda, one of the oldest in Vietnam

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"方便門"
Entrance. In Mandarin it reads "convenience door"

I arrived right as it opened, at 7:30am. This was a good time, not least because it was cool.

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"Suggest all the people no wear the short to the pagoda"
I don't know what the third language is. Perhaps Cantonese? It is badly spelt Mandarin

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Stupa

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Words on a pillar

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Altar

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Artificial mountain and temple

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Artificial mountain

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Stupa and altar

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Stupa

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Altar

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Green goddess altar

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Pavilion

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Fake mountain

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"Paying attention no entry"

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Plaque on the Pagoda

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Altar

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Pagoda renovations

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More on the pagoda. Amusingly they have Mandarin instead of French here (they're not consistent)

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Bodhi Tree from Rajenda Prasat, President of India. It is a descendant of the one under which Buddha reached Enlightenment

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Donation Box which looks like a safe

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I really liked this Pagoda. The weather probably had something to do with it.

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"Hoc tai Malaysia. World Class Degrees, Truly Asian Values"
Caveat emptor. I wonder what sort of "Asian Values" they teach in Malaysia.

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"Give me rubbish! Thank you!"

Around the lake there was supposed to be a memorial to John McCain the people who shot down John McCain. However, I couldn't find it. Looking at a photo, I now know why.

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"Taboo. Lounge. Bar"

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Uncle Ho looks particularly creepy here; "Uncle Ho, 我们永远支持你!!!"


Breakfast cost 10,000 VND. That was quite cheap, but probably because, apart from a splash of black liquid from what looked like a paint can but was probably fish sauce, it was vegetarian.


While Hanoi was dirty, it wasn't that dirty - I saw a lot of cleaners.
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