We set off over 2 days to find as many temples as we can in Da Lats provinces, as I have mentioned before, ‘The City of Flowers’ seems to be a ‘City of Temples & Pagodas’.
We are not religious, but I do believe there is more to life as we know it. We really like all places of worship, they always seem to be beautiful, seemingly peaceful…we are not here to question anyones religion, their morality or beliefs in anyway. We are just looking in, somehow trying to understand the drill & how each one functions a little. Im trying to show the kids the more we understand why people tick in a particular way, the less prejudices we will have towards them.
So another long cab ride to Linh Phong Pagoda, its far, its pretty, its small, it was shut & the locals call it insignificant. Im pretty sure we were taken to the monastery not the pagoda itself, but the language barrier wouldn’t allow me to sort it out, no did the internet. The long and drive was through cool little countryside villages, the excitement leading up to finding this little place wasn’t insignificant, we are glad we made the effort.
At the drivers suggestion we went to the near by Min Than Garden, whats this guy on? sometimes you have to go with the flow, but Im taking back the reins….don’t go here, its just a manicured hotel garden.
Another Long drive to Van Hahn Pagoda (39 Phu Dong Thien Vuong Street, Ward 8, in Lam Dong Province). Built in 2002, the winner at this site they say is the 24 metre high and 20 metre wide ‘Happy Buddha’, and it is great, I say the view from here is amazing, and the second hall has 2 massive Buddhas, one black and one bronze, both equally amazing. It would be nice place to hang for a couple of hours if you check out when their vegetarian garden restaurant is open..
The following day our friend Jonathan came to visit, so we took him to Chua Lin An Pagoda, a 27km drive from Da Lat City, through coffee, Tea and mango growing country at 1080 metres above sea level. The 4 hectare land has the imposing Lin Anh Pagoda which is 1400m2 wide and has two 20 metre dragons at the front of the entrance stairs. There is a giant white happy Buddha at the rear of the pagoda, this area was closed today. GRRRRRRR.
We spotted Elephant falls next door, not highly rated as places to visit, we got conned into paying the non existent entrance fee and made our way up via rickety bridges with dodgey handrails & very slippery moss-ridden and muddy rocks. I kept having visions of broken children down sharp volcanic crevices, this place is so dangerous, any slip would be treacherous, god only knows how hard it would be to get anyone out of here or how long it would take help to arrive. Our shoes were totally inappropriate, it was well worth it….
If youre thinking of coming here, wear hiking shoes, come with a picnic & arrive on a motorbike.
Infact if youre coming to Vietnam, just get a motorbike! If I had known I was staying so long, I would have bought a motorbike ute or motorbike truck (around $1000 – 2000 depending if you want second hand or new) and I should have biked around Vietnam with the kids……live and learn I guess. All the cool places are not covered by buses, not even local buses . So much of Vietnam is off the beaten track, a motorbike costs about $2-$300 to purchase or $5 per day to hire.
We ended our day with a quick walk around Da Lat City markets, there are tons second hand clothing stalls around at night time, alot of brand name and designer pieces, apparently America donates it all for humanitarian causes. Not sure how it ends up here, fun hunting through the piles with the locals though. Please follow this link to see more images https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.472211336278342.1073741904.441531179346358&type=3&uploaded=10