Day 2 : Buddha-fest in a dragon fruit land

I intentionally woke-up at around 5AM so I can go out to the beach and witness the sunrise. But I remember we were in the south of Vietnam so the sun will not rise in our side of the sea.
i missed the sunrise
As I was waiting for Roch to get ready, I strolled around the beach and the resort. The beach is just so-so (definitely, the beaches in the Philippines are way better), in fact, I didn't see any tourist swimming in our entire stay. But then, the sound of the waves, the sand in my feet and the soft breeze brought by the air in my skin made me calm and at peace. 
very calm sea

conservative wave
fishermen pulling the net

growth & DK - remember that subject in trigonometry? do the math.
 At 6:30 AM, we went to the resort's resto to have breakfast even though the indicated time in the coupon is 7-9 AM. When we arrived, they're still preparing the buffet (whoa! I love buffets!) and only allowed us to eat when they finished. We were worried because our companion to this day's tour will pick us up at 7AM.

bread toast

noodles - i thought it was coconut something

baguette as usual

dragon fruit
this is what i got - fried rice, fried noodles, toast, egg, puto, soup and wintermelon juice (I thought it's pandan juice)
After breakfast, we headed to the reception and found Mr. Sang (our companion for the trip) waiting for us. He  said that this day we'll be going to TaCu mountain to see the pagoda, a dragon fruit plantation, a supermarket and Cham Tower. Yey! I'm excited!

The trip to TaCu mountain is about 40 minutes from the resort. The other three in the list are actually on the way, but we'll go there on the way back.

Kapihan Vietnam style (Roch, Mr. Sang and his friend)

they have duyan beside the coffee stall

look I bought a Vietnamese hat! - accdg to Roch, the South, Central and North Vietnam have their own brand of hat and the hat I'm wearing is associated with the South. :)
We had coffee first and bought a Vietnamese hat (20,000 dong) before we proceed to the pagoda. The entrance package to the pagoda is 65,000 dong each. This includes the entrance fee, the trolley and cable car fee (back and forth).

welcome to Ta Cu mountain

we saw a girl doing sand art
i still wonder how do they make such a wonderful art like this

trolley to the Ta Cu mountain

on the way to the cable car

Roch and I on the cable car
The pagoda is located on the top of TaCu mountain around 500 m above sea level. It can be hiked for 2 to 3 hours but we opt to ride a cable car. It's a one hell of a ride (exaggeration much, hehe). The view from the cable car is ecstatic. The birds are singing, the air is cold and fresh and the stream radiates from the rock mountain with the attractive green trees all over. Honestly, I enjoyed this experience than the pagoda itself.

a nice view from above

it's a  long cable ride, around 15 mins

blue cable car
When we reached the top, we had to walk for 5 minutes and then climb their 100-150 steps to the pagoda. There we saw a temple being built that houses Buddha's and other deities. We climb a few steps more and saw some tomb towers and grottos.

welcome to the pagoda

a temple being built

a tomb tower

Roch with a Buddha
a view from the top
I was hesitant to take picture of myself with the statues since this is a sacred place for Buddhist but then we saw others taking their shots so we also did.


Tam the Buddhas

Then finally, we saw the group of Tam The Buddha's: ADiDa, QuanAmBoTat and DaiTheChi; all of these statues are about 7 meters high, with mild faces looking over the whole world as if they were ready to save and support human beings (source: Naks!

We stayed there for a while to rest and at the same time reflect. We talked about Buddha's teachings and Roch mentioned that the one thing she remembered was Buddhist are afraid to do bad things because they'll pay for it in their next life (Karma). 

reclining buddha
Roch asked where is the reclining Buddha and I said it's there lying in front of the feet of one of Tam The Buddha's and she said that's it? Apparently, she saw a bigger one in the pictures when we booked this (I wasn't aware of that) I only learned that there's actually a bigger (biggest in fact) reclining Buddha in the pagoda after ... and we missed it :(  We should've climb a few more steps. Sigh.


on the way down
nagpa-picture talaga sa cable car. :)

Anyway, we enjoyed the view and the place. If you're into faith, spirituality, temples and nature, don't miss this when you visit Phan Thiet. And don't miss the biggest reclining Buddha in Vietnam. Lol.

the Ta Cu mountain

dragon fountain?

i was trying to make a star out of my hand to mimic Vietnam's flag

kung meron sa cable car, dapat sa trolley din. :)
Roch enjoyed the purple reclining chair
After we took more pictures and sip a sugarcane juice, we headed back and look for a dragon fruit plantation to visit. There's actually a lot of plantation in the area but Mr. Sang chose a bigger one for us to see. I was surprised when I learned that dragon fruit is actually a type of cactus.

dragon fruit plantation

i like this pic

Roch and I with the dragons
dragon fruit much?
I'm not really a fan of dragon fruit but theirs is juicy and very cheap. I know it cost around 100 pesos per piece in supermarkets in the Philippines but they only sell it for 7,000 dong (around 18 pesos) per kilo. If I could only bring a lot and sell in Manila. :)

After the dragon fruit experience, we went to a supermarket and bought some local chips and yummy roti :) We were supposed to go to Cham Tower but since it's already 12nn and our bus going back to Saigon will pick us from the resort at 1 pm, we decided to go back. We just saw the Cham Tower from the road. :(

On the way, Roch asked Mr. Sang to stop to see a better view of Mui Ne beach.

It's better than what we had in the resort but still nothing spectacular. After some shots, we went back to the van and headed to the resort.

photo op at Mui Ne beach

strike a pose

one more

another one
ang tsinelas ng Hoang Hai resort
At the resort, we were informed that our bus will pick us at 1:30 PM instead. Sayang yung Cham tower! We just used the time to explore the resort and of course to have those kodak moments captured. We also met a father and daughter from Prague having their vacation and shared our experiences in Vietnam (so far)

with a ship steering wheel

photo op again?

Ti looking at the Vietnamese dolls

Hoang Hai's facade
I wonder what's Roch doing with Ti
After 5 hours of bus ride, we arrived at Saigon around 7 pm. We went to our tour coordinator and booked myself a Cu Chi Tunnel and HCMC tour (5 USD each) the following day. I also asked them to buy me a ticket for the water puppet show (100,000 dong). Then we went to Orient to get our things and check-in. This time, Roch won't be accompanying me since she needs to do something in her home in District 7 and  go to office the following day. I'm nervous and at the same time excited! :)

our tour coordinator's office
At this time also, we got a very great news from the Philippines. Roch was accepted in the company she applied for and will be reporting the third week of October. Yay!! :)

From the hotel, we walked to the 23/9 park and had dinner at Pho 24 (beside Ben Thanh).

at the park

on the way to Pho 24

at Pho 24
Pho - All

I had Pho-All (60,000 dong) which contains beef, dumplings, and everything. This is my first take of a Vietnamese noodles. I was overwhelmed with the serving, it's actually good for two. The noodles is very tasty and as a whole, I liked it. Nomnomnom. :)

GPOMS@S - gratuitous picture of me on a Sunday at Saigon

After some strolling in the park, Roch took a cab to her house and I went back to the hotel. :)

1 Response
  1. agie_G Says:

    nice dekdek! next time sama kami ;p
    missu ;)

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