Many backpackers spend weeks, a month or even more in just Vietnam before moving onto other countries. I'm a week in and on the fast track. The highlight tour if you will. That means pretty much every day I have to get out and see what I want to see. Im ok with that, Ive never been good at sitting still. The day after my motorbike adventure I spent the morning mapping out my next step. I had already booked my hostel for another night in Nha Trang when I realized I was cutting it close for the other places I wanted to see in Vietnam. It was 2pm when I decided to book my 6pm over night bus to Hoi An. I still have a few more landmarks I wanted to see and not much time to do so.
I mapped out the city bus route and went on my way. When I got to where I thought the bus stop should be there were no clear markings of where to be picked up. I know the bus comes every 15 min so I decided to wait. Well, waiting lasted 5 min. I grabbed a coffee (Vietnamese coffee is delicious) found a taxi driver and arranged a price for him to take me to the two places I wanted to go, wait for me and take me back. Boom. Efficiency.
I made my way to Long Son Pagoda, a buddhist temple set up high on some very steep steps. I can hear the chanting of the Buddhist monks as I ascend the 152 to steps to the buddha statue seated on a lotus blossom. Besides the obviously amazing view of the statue, you also have a great view of some of Nha Trang.
On my way back down there was reclining buddha. Absolutely amazing how large these statues are! The whole place was buzzing with tourists, and locals paying their respects by burning incense's.
No more time to dilly dally, back to my waiting air conditioned taxi. Don't let the clouds fool you. It's hot! Next I am off to Po Nagar Cham Towers. The towers cost a whopping $1 USD to get into and I was free to wonder about. PACKED with tourists it was tough to get some shots of just the beautiful temple. Here, they offer robes to enter the temple as a sign of respect, and of course no shoes. They were packing them in like sardines so I just peaked inside. Over all it was beautifully calming to walk around and cham dancers entertain onlookers right outside the temple.
I made it back to my hostel just in time to pack and grab a Bahn Mi for my 12 hour bus ride. Besides Pho and fresh spring rolls, Bahn mi is life here. French style baguettes packed with fresh meat and vegetables with a savory Vietnamese sauce! Yum! Ill save the bus ride, and the beginning of my love affair with Hoi An for the next blog.
I'm getting a hang of this backpacker thing. ;)