|After surviving our epic 7 hour tour yesterday, with our recovery including a long shower followed by cocktails and another light al fresco meal on the ship deck. We embarked on a tour highlighting the more traditional life of the people of the Mekong Delta. This tour described the first stop to yet another pagoda, which turned out to more a Disney version of a Buddha theme Park
(Alert History lesson follows):
The 8 days of the week Buddha include:
Sunday: The mental insight Buddha
Monday: The Protection Buddha
Tuesday: The Reclining Buddha
Wednesday BEFORE Noon: Alms Collecting Buddha
Wednesday AFTER Noon: The Buddha sitting with a Monkey and an Elephant,
Thursday: Meditation Buddha
Friday: Contemplation Buddha
Saturday: The Buddha Seated under a Naga (Seven Headed Serpent),
Then there are the spiritual Buddha
Earth Touching Buddha
Alms Collecting Buddha
Repelling The Ocean / Preventing the Relatives From Fighting (this is TRUE!)
And our favourite, which actually isn't a Buddha at all, but a very popular monk, Happy Buddha.
There are actual monks that reside in the park and perform sacred rituals. Ultimate East meets West!
After the park, we proceeded onto the pier for a boat ride along the Mekong with its many water villages fishing fleets, we landed on an island to visit the many local shops, including a bee keeper, a traditional tea house with a short performance by the owners, a coconut candy maker, and homes.
We were scheduled to also embark on a sampan for a further exploration along the many small canals along the delta, but the since its nearing the end of the dry season the water level was too low, so we embarked n our river boat for a leisurely return trip to the main land and a traditional Vietnamese lunch.