Friday, September 7, 2012

Fri 7 Sep - Perfume Pagoda

Pick up from Hotel Meracus at 8am by our guide Quan and his driver to go to the Perfume Pagoda south of Hanoi. It's not that far from Hanoi but the cartrip takes about 2 hours.

If anybody is interested in the details of the place, here is the Wikipedia link:

It's raining on and off but we had our ponchos and are not concerned.

Boat ride on the river is magical and very quiet (it's low season). Only a couple of other boats with tourists and fishermen catching shrimps can be seen.

We get to the village near the pagoda cable car to find the place in flood.
The only way forward is to zip off long pants take off shoes and socks and walk 'up river' barefoot.
Part is so deep they have boats where there normally is just a street.
Funniest experience and worth every foot on stone blocks steps. Our feet are finding it tough so Quan arranges some fancy local footwear.

Cable car eventually runs (when more than 10 people arrive) and views are fantastic.
The Perfume Pagoda is actually in a cave, up on a mountain, but were you arrive with the cablecar, it is down again a number of steps.
Then you do your deeds.

We return to lunch at village and visit another temple where the monk is fascinated by our zip on long pants and provides us a blessing of fruit. We end up with a bag very full. Very special.
Back at hotel around 6pm.

Gourmet Indian dinner at Namaste. Really really good. So good that Di gave it 5 dots in Tripadvisor with the following comments:

"We almost missed Namaste as it does not look particularly interesting from the street. Glad we persisted. While their decor is plain the food is definitely not, it's delicious. We had sizzling prawns, chicken tikka masala, naan and Dahl. All were great and better than we have in northern beaches in Sydney. The ultimate test ... Gulab jamun for dessert. Best ever!

Total cost about $27 which is not cheap for Hanoi but worth every cent.

The Service was also excellent and we enjoyed chatting to Gopi and his wife about their chefs and their passion for the food."

A great day. All went well including Di being informed of her bonus, which exceeded her expectations... Slightly.


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