Central Vietnam


November 6, 2002

Weather: high of about 80ºF and rainy in the afternoons.

In this episode, we take a dragon-boat tour of the Perfume River and see many tombs, pagodas, and temples.  Ryan comes up with some his favorite photos so far.

These are the tourist dragon boats.  We took an eight hour tour which brought us to about 5 significant sites.
I'm not sure I can match up all the names with the photos, so I'll just list the sites that we visit here:  Thien Mu Pagoda, Tu Duc Tomb, Minh Mang Tomb, Hon Chen Temple, and Khai Dinh Tomb.
I was stunned by all the photo ops on this tour.  I felt completely in the zone and was overjoyed after each photo I took.  When I reviewed them later, I wasn't quite as excited, but there were still some of my best shots.
The sites we visited were blissfully free of merchants (except for the odd few that weren't chased out by the temple police).  It was lovely to just wander the landscaped grounds and soak in the beauty.
Again, we didn't have a guide to explain things to us, so we pretty much wandered around in a daze.
This temple had some working monks in it.  It also had an exhibit consisting of the car that was used by a Buddhist leader to drive to central Saigon then sit down and burn himself to death in the street to protest persecution of Buddhists.
There was a scary moto ride from the boat to this temple.
This was by far the most amazing room we had seen so far.  The ceiling here is fantastic.
The gardens and outdoor spaces are my favorite despite the incredible architecture.
And here is my favorite photo so far.

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