Marble Mountain, Vietnam

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 This morning we had a driver (sounds posh!) take us to Marble Mountain – a very steep climb to get to the top, but well worth it. Marble Mountain is acutally a group of Mountains but the one we went to has 16 pagodas and temples. The temples are still being used for worship, some are grander than others. Ornately decorated, and well maintained. But the most spectacular one of all (in my opinion) is Huyen Khong Cave, not much initially but if you follow the light/s down thru the cave a bit it opens up to a massive open area with a huge statue of Buddha at the back wall looking at you. It was an OMG! moment. It was also one of the most serene temples on the mountain, I think everybody was just overawed with the scope of this cave. And it is a natural cave, light comes in from the top, there are holes in the ceiling, you can see the over growing trees. All very hushed and reverent, I didn’t get the feeling of calm at some of the temples outside, it was almost like they were tourist destinastions.

As we were leaving an old lady, with the blackest teeth I have ever seen, sold us some incense to light in “her” temple. When we weren’t all that receptive to that idea she, and her friend, took us on a tour round the back of her temple and showed us another buddha we would never have found! It must be her party trick – she turned out to be Number1 photographer san and charged accordingly. For the first time in a long time there are photos of us together being tourists – hot, sweaty and tired touristsbut photos none the less. Good temple though.

I haven’t spoken about the food yet. Worth flying here just to eat. Mostly we walk around till we find a cafe/restuarant that takes our fancy. 4 – 6 courses and a bottle or two (depending on the size) of Tiger beer = $15.00. Money well spent. And there are restaurants everywhere.

Also out of curiosity I went into an optomitrist to check out the cost of sunglasses. I left my good ones at home and bought my cheap pair with me (ha ha ha ha – cheap $260.00 – it’s all relative). Well 2 pair of sunglasses and 2 pair of prescription reading glasses later……..approx $70.00 per pair. I have heard that in the UK people are now ordering their glasses from Asia through the internet and it is only costing GBP20.00 or so. If I knew how to add clicky link thingies I would do so as someone else has written all about it.

I believe tomorrow is cooking lesson day.

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