500 Steps for Buddha in Nha Trang Vietnam

Nha Trang, Vietnam is positioned in the middle of the country and enjoys two seasons a year – sunny from January to September and rainy for three months from October through December. Although it threatened to rain all day, it did not while we were out and about, but the wind was blowing hard.

We docked in the harbor and nothing looked familiar from two years ago. This harbor was filled with ferries, pleasure boats, fishing boats, and miscellaneous other boats. The bus drove us northward and we were amazed at the changes that taken place all along the route. The lovely deserted beach with a grassy area between the road and the white sand beach is now filled with walkways, parks, manicured plantings, and hotels. Tourism has arrived in this area big time. Many four and five-star hotels have been built. There are still millions of motorbikes on the roads and a few more cars than we remembered from our last visit.

Our first stop was to see the Po Nagar Cham towers – one of the few remaining testaments to the ancient Cham civilization. These were built between the 7th and 12th centuries.

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Today Vietnamese Buddhists come to Po Nagar to pray and make offerings according to their beliefs. We climbed 105 steps up and the same number down in order to appreciate everything at this site. The food donations at this temple seemed much more elaborate than we had seen before. There were also several smaller side temples around the main one that you could enter as well.

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On the way back to the bus we photographed the fishing boats that Carolyn had been looking for when we were here before. Nha Trang at one time was known as for being a major fishing port, and fishing still is a way of life for some in the area. The blue and red boats we saw were near the Xom Bong Bridge in the shallow Nha Trang harbor.

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A short bus ride brought us to the Long Son Pagoda, which was founded in the late 19th century and has been rebuilt several times. It is now home to less than 10 monks. The entrance roofs are decorated with mosaic dragons made of glass and ceramic tile.

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From the pagoda we climbed 152 stone steps leading to the giant white Buddha seated on a lotus blossom.

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Barb made it to the top, but Mary Jane ventured off the path to photograph the large reclining Buddha about a third of the way up the hill.

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The view from the top gave you a panoramic view of the whole area. On the way down Barb stopped to watch them sound the giant bell using a horizontal wooden pole.

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Our last stop on the tour was the embroidery shop we had visited two years ago, and both of us were really looking forward to the revisit. Mary Jane bought two scarves at the shop and then we went looking for embroidered pictures to purchase. We wanted to see if the one Carolyn had fallen in love with two years ago was still available. But, alas, it was not there and there were none that even came close to the color or subject matter of the one she fell in love with. We walked through the second floor workshop where the girls work eight hours a day. Some work individually and others work in teams.

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Many of the girls appeared quite young as and were in training with an adult supervisor assisting and instructing them. The finished products were as lovely as before, but we were not moved to buy one.

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When we returned to the dock, we took time to go through to investigate all the vendor stalls that had been set up for us to browse in. Beautiful fabrics, watches, sunglasses, t-shirts, scarves, and luggage were in abundance. By the time that we arrived, it was the middle of the afternoon, and the young ladies tending the tables were certainly tired from all the activities and sales that they made to the passengers of the Amsterdam. We all helped to make Nha Trang green.

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One Response to “500 Steps for Buddha in Nha Trang Vietnam”

  1. Love the photo of the Buddha’s toenails and the two of the chicken dragons. Cannot believe, Barbara, that you did not buy a silk framed wall hanging as you said a year ago that you wished you would have purchased one when we were there!

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