One of the most pleasant surprises on the third day of our Mekong Delta tour was climbing up the 400 + steps to reach the Buddhist temple known as Chua Hang or Cave Pagoda located on Sam Mountain in Chau Doc, Vietnam.
Given that we had either been planted in a van and/or boat for the past couple of days, it was a welcome relief having the opportunity to get some rigorous exercise even given the extreme heat and humidity.
At this particular point of the tour, we were starting to get frustrated that we were spending so much time in a cramped situation when we thought our tour would have included more walking and opportunities for exploration. Although, having the opportunity to climb up to this cave slightly redeemed our opinion of the tour, it still was a bit too little too late.
The ascent up the stairs was exhausting given the sweltering heat and humidity but the views were well worth it as small fishing communities and seemingly endless rice fields extended off far into the distance.
For several minutes, I just gazed out at the surroundings down below me realizing how high we had climbed to reach this point.
The Buddhist temple was certainly more quirky than usual. In particular, a reclining Buddha was sporting sunglasses. Without fail, I pulled out my camcorder and dSLR camera to capture this peculiar attraction. I honestly live to capture these oddball travel moments; it’s what has kept me on the road as a digital nomad for years on end.
I’ve seen just about anything in and around temple areas, including smoking monks and other ‘interesting’ behaviour, but this was indeed the first time to see Buddha donning shades. Who knew Buddha could look so cool?
For those interested in visiting the temple it’s worth noting that it is free of charge; and who doesn’t like something that is free?