Sunday, 19 June 2016

The 15 Day trip to Vietnam - The Mandarin Route - Day 11 (morning) - Ninh Binh - Bich Dong Pagoda ensemble -The 27th of May 2016

As I got up earlier than necessary I looked out of my bedroom window prior to having come down to the groundfloor where breakfast was served. I was one of the first to sit at the interiro patio like cafĂ© and chose what I liked best. The wall of the patio was covered in a glazed tile depicting the peasants' work in the rice paddies around the area. 

As I waited for my travelling companions to come down I stood at the shop next to the hotel main entrance where a lady was busy entangling flowers for several flower crowns.  

We soon headed towards the Trong Yen limestone mountains so as to visit a cluster of three cave pagodas named Bich Dong, which date back to 1428.

We gained access to the first one - Ha pagoda,  by walking on a narrow bridge after which a courtyard surrounded by vegetation opened up.

From it we walked up 120 steps  until we reached the second pagoda - Trung pagoda, clearly embedded in the rocky moutain and particularly interesting to look at.

The upper one - Thuong pagoda, was possibly the most interesting one because if was spread on a courtyard and inside the actual labyrinthic cave, where we had to walk with added precaution once the ground was damp and rather slippery at parts making one's equilibrium too hard to maintain. It was was rather sombre inside the cave making it also very difficult to take good photos, which was a pity, once the altar and some Chinese inscriptions on the rock were worth having been photographed. 

The view among the trees and the thick vegetation  as seen from above was quite nice but we soon had to make our way down.

(To be continued)

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