|Hey, Today I'm writing from our newest destination, Thailand. But first I'll tell you how we spent our day yesterday. The day itself wasn't anything special, as I told you, we did the tour. It started with a big pagoda,apparently the biggest in Southeast Asia. I got few information as the tour guide told us a couple of interesting stories as we walked around. Before we went into the pagoda,he told us the reason why there is a very high stair before you enter it. The 2 reasons are: - as you enter the pagoda,you have to look down for your step,so you basically bow before enter this holy place,- they believe that ghosts don't have knees,so they can't go inside because of the step. There are also a couple of little ponds in front of the pagoda. Buddhist believe water cleans you so as you pass by the ponds, you get cleaned before you enter the pagoda. Also, there are 9 steps before you go in. Buddhist believe,number 9 means eternity.
First we saw the female Buddha which looked very simsilar to Sheeva. The story of the only female Buddha:
She was born as a princess. Before she was born,her dad wanted a boy. After he saw,it's a girl,his goal was to get her married as soon as possible. When she was young, he told her that but she did nothing else but visited pagodas to worship Buddha. Every time she went into a pagoda instead of marriage, her dad killed all the monks in that pagoda she visited. One day her dad lost his eye and his arm. When the princess heard it,she straight went back home and to help him,she gave her own eye and arm.
When she died, Buddha gave her 1000 eyes and 1000 arms as they believe in karma: when you do good, you'll get good.
As we walked around, we could find Vietnam's 4 holy animals everywhere: turtle, dragon, phoenix, unicorn.
The second part was a place where we could find one of the biggest Buddha statue. Before we went in, we could see a tower just right next to it. It's made of stones they found in the monk's ashes after they have been cremated. Every time Buddhist go into the pagoda, they bow 3 times in front of Buddha. The 3 bow is for:1, to forgive, 2, forgiveness, 3, for the good eyes to follow Buddha. In front ofthe massive Buddha statuet, there is a turtle and on the turtle stands the phoenix. Our tour guide told us the story of about this little 'friendship' as well. There was a farmer go got a snake when it was little. Every day for years and years the farmer fed the snake. As the snake grew and the farmer got older, he couldn't feed him anymore so the snake wanted to eat him. Before he did it, he went and asked the phoenix if he should eat the farmer. The phoenix said no, he raised you,you shouldn't eat him. Obviously the snake wasn't happy for the answer so he asked the turtle who said, you should eat him, if you have nothing else to eat and he can't feed you,why not. The snake was very happy but as he was about to turn back a crowd who heard the conversation, flew down and got him. That's why, the phoenix being the good and the turtle isn't so much, the phoenix is always in the top of the turtle to look after what he does.
After the pagoda we went to have a 2 hours boat ride but the one the day before was better. After the tour we headed to Hanoi.
In Hanoi we had food and a drink and went to sleep. We thought Hanoi is actually very cute -well,the area we went in-.
Today morning we flew to a Bangkok, arrived to the hostel at about 11am. It's a very nice area we are now,nicely busy but not the crazy sort of busy. We knew we want to head down south,around Karin but there are a fair few kilometres in between Bangkok and Kraig. So we went into a tour office and asked where to stop half way through. We got a good tip, we are going tomorrow evening to a beautiful island called, Ko Tao. We booked bus for 800thai baht/person. As it's a new country with new money, £1= 3baht. A beer cost about 80 baht (a big bottle), G&T the same, a good street food about 50 baht,same in the restaurant 80-100baht. Hostel was 375baht.
We spent 2hours sleeping but the room is boiling hot. In fact after northern Vietnam, this is like hell with its 33-34 degrees and extreme humidity. In the evening we explored the market part of the city and we really liked it. Bangkok isn't that bad so far...
1 thing though, taxi from the counter at the airport is 800 baht, we walked out, fought a taxi and payed 400baht.
Before I say goodbye,just a quick summary of Vietnam.
It's a beautiful country and everyone should visit. Here are the facts I love Vietnam for:
- they drink coffee like water...and Vietnamese coffee is very nice
- it's the country of motorbikes, mopeds, scooters- absolutely crazy drivers but it's a very organised craziness
- people are the nicest, most helpful,with the biggest smile, kindest you can find
- always got a nice hello,a smile or just a wave
- beautiful country -doesn't matter where you go, it's just amazing-
- great food!!
- dogs are actually owned and walked
If you'll ever have the chance, go and see it yourself