Spring is pagoda season in Vietnam but truly people pay more attention in the north than other parts of Vietnam. Almost every single man knows how to prepare for these special festival occasions and I am really impressed about that. It also means this aspect of our culture will never end. As in the past years, my friend and his colleagues invited me to join their pagoda trip to photograph the day.
We met up in front of the Sofitel Plaza Hotel at 5 am and had some noodles nearby then headed to the Perfume Pagoda in Ha Tay province. The weather was quite bad, damn cold and raining but it improved after 2 hours. The driver was excellent as we didn't have any problems at all. We arrived at the Yen River where we parked the car and picked up the boat. The girls sat in the cafe to fill up the wish lists for everyone then we took a big 35 seat iron boat to the pagoda dock. The boat trip was really pleasant and I love coming back here just to see people doing their own praying, organizing their food on trays and the scenery along the river.
We arrived at Trinh Temple at first for my friends to pray for over half an hour and I took that chance to take photos and look around. It was really crowded even though it was Monday. It was fun to see my friends organizing their food tray, everyone put some money on the tray as well as soft drink, fake money, wish lists, beer, chicken, sticky rice, biscuits, fresh fruit, cigarettes, flowers and incense. It sounds like a lots of things but it looks very nice and very organized. Some other people put even more stuff on their small trays which end up very heavy.
After 30 minutes, we left for Huong Tich Cave which is the most religious place to go. I will tell you more about this in part II. Please take a good look at my flickr website where I saved all of the photos.