Thursday, November 27th, 2003 – Day 282

Thursday, November 27th, 2003 – Day 282

I was up around 9.00am. There is a school across from the hotel and in the morning they shout across. When a half dressed tourist goes to the window to see what the fuss is about, they come across 20 kids screaming and laughing at them.

I confirmed my intention to take the night bus to Hanoi tomorrow night at 5.30pm. It is a 16 hour bus ride.

I spent the day walking around to different Pagoda (Buddist religious temples). They included:

Tu Dam Pagoda

Tu Dam Pagoda is located in Truong An, 2km south of Hue. A Chinese monk, Minh Hang Tu Dung founded it, at the end of the 17th century under Le Hy Tong reign. It was during the reign of Emperor Thieu Tri that the pagoda was given the name Tu Dam. In the center of the pagoda is a tree that was grafted from a sacred tree brought to Vietnam by Buddhists from India in 1936. In 1951, the Buddhist Association Conference was held at the pagoda. Nowadays, the board of the Buddhist Association of Thua Thien Hue province is located there.

Phu Cam Cathedral

Phu Cam Cathedral is located in Phuoc Vinh, in Hue. It was built in a modern architecture and designed by architect Ngo Viet Duc. In early 1963, the construction of the cathedral started and was basically completed by 1965. Phu Cam Cathedral was built using new concepts in which supporting pillars were attached to the walls and gradually bent ahead. Three supporting pillars in each corner stretched out to create a fairly large space for the altar. In one of the cathedral’s wings is the tomb of former archbishop Philippe Nguyen Kim Dien (1921-1988) and in the other, an altar to present the saint.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Hue – Note Dame Cathedral (27-11-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Hue – Manual Labour (27-11-2003)

Bao Quoc Pagoda

Located near the center of Hue city (in Ham Long Hill, adjacent to Dien Bien Phu Street), the pagoda was founded by Superior Buddhist Monk Giac Phong at the end of 17th century. In 1747, Bao Quoc Pagoda was noted in the list of national pagodas. Despite of a lot of restorations (1802, 1824, 1858, 1957), the pagoda has not lost its ancient architectural charm. Since 1940, Bao Quoc Pagoda has become a well-known Buddhist Training Center.

More information can be found here.

DIEU DUC PAGODA

The pagoda is situated at 92/6/4 Dien Bien Phu street, Truong An quarter, Hue City. The facade is direct to the North-East, in front of it is Van Phuoc hill in which has Thien Lam pagoda, Van Phuoc pagoda, Tinh Do pagoda.At the back, there are Kim Tien, Tu Quang and Tuong Van pagodas. It was founded in 1932 by Bhikhuni Dieu Huong, Dieu Khong, Mrs Cong Ton Nu Thi Ban, Ton Nhan Ung Ban, Ung Uy, Ton That Tung. In 1936 the Main-hall of the pagoda was established. The pagoda has: a Main-hall in which a high altar is for Duc The Ton and Tam The. The lower alter is for Kshitigarbha Bodhisattva, statue of Bodhisattva Te Chi. In the middle of the main-hall has a gilt dragon, lion, tortoise, phoenix carving escutcheon incripted “Dieu Duc Pagoda” Most Ven Phuoc Hue (Thap Di Da pagoda in Binh Dinh).

Dieu De

The pagoda is located at 100 Bach Dang street, Phu Cat ward, Hue city, Thua Thin – Hue province. It was built by King Thieu Tri in 1844 on the foundation of his old residence but badly damaged during the wars. In 1889, Most Ven. Tam Truyen was granted money by King Thanh Thai to restore the pagoda and once again it was badly damaged due to the typhoon in 1904. The present construction was made in 1953, on the ceiling of the main hall is a skillfully painted “dragon meeting cloud” picture. A 1.90m high, 1m wide stone stele on a 0.65m high pedestal stands in the stele house carved with King Thieu Tri’s poems chanting on Dieu De pagoda. Dieu De pagoda is the third National Pagoda in Hue and listed by King Thieu Tri as one of twenty beautiful sights in the Old Capital.

I also visited Tang Quang Pagoda and Notre Dame R.C Cathedral.

The Notre Dame Cathedral is usually called the Redemptorists by Hue people. In fact, it was the name of an order being built in the previous time, at the rear of the church. This cathedral was designed by architect Nguyen My Loc. This cathedral took three years to build (from 1959 to 1962). The interior of the cathedral is 38m wide and 72m long, always being lit by stained glass. In the bell tower, there hangs four bells, 30m from the ground. Located at the center of the city, this cathedral occupies a solemn position and is held in high regard to the Catholic followers in the region.

It was 4.00pm when I finished my days walking. I was exhausted. I had a beer and went on he NET for a while. I checked my site stats. It seems this November, I have the biggest monthly visitors, nearly 1,000 over the month. This beats the October record of 760.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Hue – Hue Military Museum – USA Anti Aircraft and Troop Transporter from the Vietnam War (27-11-2003)

I also bit the bullet today. Curiosity killed the cat or made it deaf. I got my ears cleaned Vietnam style. The Vietnamese believe that if you let your ears get dirty evil spirits will come and nest in them.

The barber chair is reclined to horizontal and made me feel like I was in a dentist and I hate dentists. Sometimes the guy might dress like a surgeon but my guy was finishing a beer. Not a good choice although it was clean and looked like a hairdressing salon which is there main business. The cost was only 5000 Dong (.20 cent) which made me nervous. I wish it had been a bit more expensive. It would make me feel better.

I have seen them use headlamps. My guy had a powerful lamp with a beer can slit open at the bottom so that the light could be focused. He had a suite of surgical instruments. About half a dozen looked surgical looking. They were maybe 20 inches long, stainless steel with little hooks, fork like ends to scrap. Some looked like what a dentist may use in cleaning teeth.

I felt I was in a dentist the may he kept moving my head. He started and f^&&, give me a dentist any day. It wasn’t sore but it felt strange and uncomfortable. He scrapped for about 10 minutes. As I have a cold it seems that ear is far waxier than my left ear. The scrapping seemed to reverberate and bounce around my skull to my other ear. Weird feeling. He then used a cleaning solution on a cotton wool stuck to a long instrument which he twirled and moved around. He made a burning sensation. He then used little cloth brush like instruments. I was gripping the arm rest. He then showed me the results of his work. He has scrapped what he got out on a piece of newspaper. Jesus, there was loads. I mean you would never get this out your self. I was a bit deaf but he used one of those instruments like you see when a pianist uses when seeing if the tone is right (but now using it on my ear). That seemed to do the trick.

He then moved to the other ear with his lamp. That took him only 5 minutes. Anyway, he charged me 7,000 Dong (2,000 extra) as my left ear was so waxy and dirty.

Yeah, those scalpel, which is used to cut away whatever can be cut away inside your ear were scary. It feels about as unpleasant as you would expect it to feel. I didn’t move a muscle during the procedure and he had to move me head for me. I didn’t want any sudden movements to burst an ear drum. Lots of locals were shouting in at the poor guy (god knows what they were saying) as well as a few startled tourists. I didn’t want people to distract him.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Hue – River Life (27-11-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Hue – River Life (27-11-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Hue – Life (27-11-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Hue – Religious Life (27-11-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Hue – River Life (27-11-2003)

Nothing else to report for the rest of the evening. I did some walking by the Rivber (see pictures above).