My friend Khai and his work colleagues
invited me and my friend Cong
to join their trip to the Perfume Pagoda
last week. I've been there several times but I've always been with tour companies. This time I will try the trip Vietnamese style, praying and eating style. I had a great day!
We met up at the Metropole Sofitel Plaza at 5am which was very difficult for me but I made it on time :) Everyone looked very sleepy on the bus and we started our journey after picking up some more friends and food for both offering and eating. Mr Huy, the chef at the Zephyr Hotel, worked really hard preparing the food. My friends told me that this is not a really busy time to visit after two months of pagoda festivals but I still saw thousands of people there and most of them arrived earlier than us meaning they must have left their homes atabout 1 am or 2am or they stayed over night there.
Perfume Pagoda is such a beautiful place which reminds me of Tam Coc
with amazing scenery along the river. You sometimes can hear peoples' laughing echoing backwards and the sound of the lady who's paddling at the back. It's so peacful and so nice to be there and I realized why people visit as their first place to pray for luck and happiness in the New Year.
After 5 minutes on the boat, we arrived at the first Pagoda called Trinh Temple. People told me that if you go to the Perfume Pagoda, you have to stop at this temple to register your name like checking in to a hotel. A bit strange, don't you think? We stayed there for almost an hour to prepare food, flowers and money on the trays then we got back on the boat heading to the main cave. There are also many people who can help you to carry your stuff and write your wishes in Chinese characters. There was a very nice traditional women's band which sings the whole day and people just give them small change. There are a full range of services here at this very holy temple!
To be continued
Labels: Pagodas, The North, Traditional Culture, Travel