I feel blessed to be able to swim in such a beautiful river like the Hương. Almost every morning, I would arrive at the river bank at around 5 am, admiring the river before swimming across it with Auntie Tuyết. I can’t think of any better way to view the sunrise or sunset than doing […]
Bạch Đằng Str. in Huế City runs along the man-made river of Đông Ba and dotted with a dozen of traditional panel houses and old temples on one side and with bodhi trees on the other. There is Diệu Đế Pagoda, built by Emperor Thiệu Trị in 1844, half way along the street. The pagoda […]
Many Westerners as well as the local people mistranslated Ngọ Môn – the main entrance to Hoàng Thành (Huế Royal City) is Noon Gate. This happens as the word “Ngọ” in ancient Chinese – Vietnamese language means “noon” when talking about time but it indicates “South” when referring to direction. Ngọ Môn of Huế Royal […]
My aunt was 94 when she passed away last August. More than 2 decades of her later life, she was a vegetarian. She led a modest life of a Budhist and had a simple eating habit. Cooked rice and steamed vegetables dipped in soy sauce or paired with ground sea salt and red chilli pepper […]
One of the things that you should not miss when visiting Luang Prabang is taking a cruise on the powerful and scenic Mekong River. Unlike the calm and clear Hương River running through my home town, the Mekong River rushing through Luang Prabang with its mightiness and charisma. From the old town of Luang Prabang, […]
After two days of indulging in sunsets, sunrises over the ancient temples in Bagan, I decided to stroll down an alley to meet and talk to local people. The sandy alley led me to a small and shabby cottage with a half opened gate made of branches and leaves. Peering through the gate, I saw […]
“How do you say ‘little sister’ in your dialect?” I asked Sương and Cu Bàng, my new little Pako friends from A Lưới. “A em,” they answered in chorus. “A em?” How come these two sounds feel so close to my heart? I was truck with emotion and memory. And at that time, the first […]
After strolling around the pagoda, you may wish to find a place to take a rest. My favorite seat is at a set of rock table and stools by a well and a lotus lake. I enjoy sitting in silence to enjoy the white lotus and violet water-lilies bathing in the last sun-drops of a day. By the edge of the lake, there stands a thatched roof pavilion where the monks often sit around to study or relax on sunny days. On the zigzag bamboo bridge, which links the pavilion to the other side, there seats a monk in the posture of a blooming lotus. He is reading a book without caring about the pagoda-goers nor the chirping sound of the insect around.