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Old 29th November 2011, 13:03   #46
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Default Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA/ INDIAN CONNECTION

Po Nagar Cham Towers was next on the agenda:

Entry Ticket:

Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)-dsc01421.jpg

Po Nagar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Originally a Shiva temple built by King Satyavarman, over years became a Bhagavati Temple, converted to Yan Po Nagar cult rites, the place became Po Nagar Towers. Goddess Yen Po Cham Nagar is an alter image of Indian Durga, Hindu and Buddhist influence is seen everywhere in Vietnam and Cambodia. This looked more like a Hindu temple, exact style of Baijnath Temple of Palanpur, HP. There was a Buddhist ceremony going on in front of the temple, we sat and watched. The other side of the temple looks over the river, the road bridge, the fishing boats, brown river joining the sea, dumping rain washed mud into the sea. This is one of the most beautiful sites of Nha Trang.

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Notice the idol: Supposed to be Lord Shiva dancing.

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Looking at that cool bottle of iced Lipton Tea after a very hard climb and walk around.

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Another artist at work, painting on paper:

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========

Last edited by ramkya1 : 29th November 2011 at 13:12.
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Old 29th November 2011, 13:14   #47
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Arrow re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

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Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
A thousand Blue Blistering Barnacles, no shaving no diving that was hilarious, but nice adventure you had diving.
Thanks, Moto: It was one heck of an adventure, would not have missed it for anything else. Keep reading and posting.
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Old 29th November 2011, 15:04   #48
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Arrow re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

Po Cham Towers, Video

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Old 29th November 2011, 15:17   #49
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Arrow Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA/ HOLY Lon Son Pagoda.

The day was ebbing, 5 PM, we needed to move to the last destination, the most sacred of places in Nha Trang, the Lon Son Pagoda, no entrance fee for a change.

Long Song Pagoda

We park and walk up the steps to an ornate hall where the daily worship Buddha sits elaborately decorated. The whole place is rich in art, the roofs in glass tiles and a scary looking dragon with overgrown nose hairs, a peaceful place for you to meditate on the penultimate question, “Who made God?” Indians would enjoy the tour, there are many Gods you would recognize, many of the motifs have Indian connections.


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The next two pictures, the swords are removed:


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The next stage is to walk up steep 150 steps to see the 80 feet giant Buddha, this can be seen from miles around the area. Midway, you also have a long sleeping Buddha, very long, about 50 feet. I wonder why they have to build it so big, the real Buddha was under 6 feet tall and never asked anyone to build temples or statues for him. As anything in the world, when institutionalized, grows to absurd proportions and breeds power centers and corruption.

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You would find a strange thing in Vietnam, statues which heft weapons have either weapons removed or locked up in cement, reportedly weapon wielding statues breeds violence in people and the Government directive is to remove them all, how strange!! Wonder if Cretans who run it know human behavior. Note how these Dwarapalaka's swords ends are immobilized!!

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The climb up after a hard days tour was tiring, but fun. It’s 6 PM and dark, Mark has to run for his English tuitions, we were tired and say good bye to Mark. We go to the beach, sit there for some time, go to KFC for a quick bite and crash at around 9 PM. Another day spent well with nice memories.

Last edited by ramkya1 : 29th November 2011 at 15:33.
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Old 29th November 2011, 16:37   #50
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Default re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

Ramkya1:

A great T/L. Keep it coming. In fact I am eagerly waiting for the Cambodia part to begin.

K
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Old 29th November 2011, 23:50   #51
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Default Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

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Originally Posted by kingshukt View Post
Ramkya1:

A great T/L. Keep it coming. In fact I am eagerly waiting for the Cambodia part to begin.

K

Kingshukt: Thanks. That's a long way off, I have another 6 days of Vietnam to fill before moving to Cambodia. I promise you, it would be worth the wait.

===
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Old 30th November 2011, 09:39   #52
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Default Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

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Kingshukt: Thanks. That's a long way off, I have another 6 days of Vietnam to fill before moving to Cambodia. I promise you, it would be worth the wait.

===
6 more days of vietnam? wow thats a long long holiday you had recently. Annual holidays i presume?
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Old 30th November 2011, 09:42   #53
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Default Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

The Buddha statues seem to be getting bigger as people go east, the ones at Wu Xi in China and the one at HKG look imposing too.

Disappointing that it was short update, just joking waiting for more.

Pleasantly Surprising a Sharma running a restaurant named "Omar Khayyam", the world is different beyond the shores of our land!!!!!
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Old 30th November 2011, 10:07   #54
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Arrow Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

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Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
6 more days of vietnam? wow thats a long long holiday you had recently. Annual holidays i presume?
Yes. This is the only long one we get in the year, Vietnam can soak up all of 3 weeks easily. We want to go again.

@ Rajesh: They are HUGE.. don't know about the ones in China, will google them. I heard there are ones that are 100 feet tall. Good point about Sharmajji, met him too. The world is sure different here. In Phnom Penh there's a south Indian restaurant which advertises HALAL food, unthinkable in Inaida. Will load pictures of this place as we go on.

Some other things that would stand out are: Women in shorts, revealing dress entering temples, them wearing footwear in most places except near sacred statues, the casual way in which they move around in the temple (saw in HCMC), burning money (fake money) as offering to Buddha, them selling non-veg food right outside temples / pagodas and people carrying it inside to eat it on the premises!!!

Last edited by ramkya1 : 30th November 2011 at 10:09.
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Old 1st December 2011, 18:00   #55
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Arrow Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA/ HOT SPRING MUD BATHS

29-11-2011: Last Day in Nha Trang:

What are the things we did not do that all others do? Vin Perl Island Tour. EVERYBODY does this tour to see the water park and rides. Having done many waterparks, parks and amusement arcades this was not very attractive. We wanted to spend this day without any plans, on our own just riding around town, by this time we have a good idea about the directions, roads and to topography of the town. Mark would have loved to take part, but he had some diving students and went out early morning.

Got up late, late breakfast and drove to the beach, it was a cloudy day, some drizzles and more to come. To be on the safe side we took out the ponchos we bought at HCMC for 2 USD, you donít get them in India. Went to the beach, sat there watching surf and people watching surf. It started drizzling, so we rode back to the hotel, shelved the Sony HX100, took the pocked camera for the day, most pictures for the day would be not so sharp, it was raining on and off anyway.

Tap Ba Hot Springs and Mud Baths: Most people go here and itís worth the gooey fun. Our hotel booked us in on the phone, week ends can be crowded, we were lucky. Being a rainy day, crowd was less, we were allowed more time in side and enjoyed the place thoroughly.

Nha Trang Thap Ba Hot Spring Mudbath (Vietnam's most famous)

Our ride was fine till the Po Cham Towers and then it started raining, moderate by our standards but unexpected. Stopped only to take the ponchos and reached Hot Springs in 3 Kms. Light crowd, we checked out the rates, about 25 USD for 2 people in a private mud tub, jackuzi, mineral water bath, water fall and pool, all HEATED or HOT. The mud is reported to be from volcanic ash, pumpepd up from underground, mixed with mineral water and takes a 4 KM journey to reach the baths.

You are given a locker, shorts / tops, change in the cubicles and directed to go up to the tubs. The wooden tubs are for 2, 2, 8 or big ones for about 10-12, have shades and semi private. You take a shower, the attendant fills the tub with gooey warm mud and you jump into the slimey stuff, fun if you have a partner to play tag inside. The mud gets all over you, 45 minutes of meditation on it is a chilled out experience, one is allowed 45 minutes, if the crowd is low, you can stay as long as the mud stays hot. There are photographers circling around, they snap your picture and give you a poster by the time you finish and come down. We get out take a shower, walk down to the jaccusi, stand between two walls, walls are full of chest high spouts spewing powerful jets, a massage when you turn around and allow the stream too hit you where you want it for 10 minutes. Next is another tub of hot mineral water, tasted it, great even for drinking, you can stay for 45 minutes, we do about 30 in it. Next you walk to the heated pool where we had fun with a couple of English children playing water polo for 30 minutes and reach the waterfall nearby. Cascades of hot water thunder down on you, if you lie down on its path, you get massaged all over freely, this was one of the best free massages we got till date. 3 hours have gone by, you feel rejunevated and warm all over, a little sore too with the massage. We collect the picture, dress up and walk to the parking lot with a warm glow all over. Another experience to chalk up the board and savour. I would strongly recommend this to everybody who goes to Nha Trang.

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3 PM, lunch at the Indian Restaurant and glorious sleep till 7 PM, the Mud Bath was highly relaxing. We went at 0800 PM to Markís diving school to say good bye to him, return the bike and part company. By now, we have become good friends, we were happy to have gained one more friend and a great human being. We have seen that he goes out of the way to help people, is fair to customers and wears his heart on his sleeve. Someday soon weíre going to meet again. Took some snaps with him, walked back to the hotel, 2 KM, have dinner at KFC, on the way, have a shot of Smirnofff, watch CNN for news on Bangkok floods and crash at 1000 PM.

=========

Last edited by ramkya1 : 1st December 2011 at 18:22.
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Old 2nd December 2011, 00:08   #56
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Default Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

just loved the picture ...409.jpg.

btw following the travelogue keenly, and as usual loving it for the details typically associated with your logs. lovely pictures (and I know I have to plan to come to A'bad for lovlier pictures )
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Old 2nd December 2011, 08:20   #57
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just loved the picture ...409.jpg.

btw following the travelogue keenly, and as usual loving it for the details typically associated with your logs. lovely pictures (and I know I have to plan to come to A'bad for lovlier pictures )
Thanks for your comments. The pool was heated with warm spring water and was fun.

To see the full lot of pictures and videos would take a long time. Deciding what NOT to upload has been the difficult choice, most personal photos are not uploaded.

--Ramky
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Old 2nd December 2011, 09:57   #58
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Default Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

The full experience! Museums, street food, motorcycling, temples, diving & mud-bathing! WOW!

Can you use your own Indian driving license to ride a mobike? Are there formal self-driving tour circuits available that you can do on your own?

Language problems? Signboards are in local language, do people understand what you are saying? Are signages tourist-friendly?

BTW, the "No Shaving, No Diving" does make you look like Prem Nazir, the evergreen Mallu hero of yester years (no offence to either, of course!)
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Old 2nd December 2011, 11:06   #59
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Arrow Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

HVK, you're a friend and we're on the same page

My answers in bold, I was going to cover that up later in the Cambodia section, but that would be far away.

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The full experience! Museums, street food, motorcycling, temples, diving & mud-bathing! WOW!

Can you use your own Indian driving license to ride a mobike? Are there formal self-driving tour circuits available that you can do on your own?

In Vietnam, nobody asked, nobody checked, they let the tourists ride as long as they don't ram anybody, they appreciate the income from tourist, that was visible everywhere. But if you have an accident, it could be expensive, depends on the cop / police station and their domestic financial situation.

My friend at HCMC, Himanshu says, everybody including politicians fears the cop. They chase signal breakers / offenders and give them hell. The cops generally close their eyes once they know it's a tourist, depends on your luck.

We were asked NO license for the Quad at Cambodia, but were tested ability to drive it for 1 KM, guy sits behind and checks out. These guys are not too worried about the license as the drive is through dirt track and farming areas with low traffic. However, you have to sign off a format indemnifying them from all damages, insurance claims and accident problems etc., they brief you in on this before the ride.

Language problems? Signboards are in local language, do people understand what you are saying? Are signages tourist-friendly?

Language is a BIG problem, only sign language, people with Vietnamese maps can manage. Main highways are very well marked, surfaces OK. The French guy on our bike ride tour drove a BMW from Hanoi to Da Nang, 16 hrs coastal drive, used a GPS, said GPS is OK to navigate through.

BTW, the "No Shaving, No Diving" does make you look like Prem Nazir, the evergreen Mallu hero of yester years (no offence to either, of course!)

That's a compliment, thanks. Don't remember Nazir shaved off

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Old 2nd December 2011, 13:05   #60
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Default Re: Footloose in VAMBODIA (Vietnam + Cambodia)

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just loved the picture ...409.jpg.

+1.

@ramkya,
very nice logue i must say,
thanks for sharing the beautiful side of this unknown part of the world.
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