Ho Chi Ming City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Ming City (formerly Saigon) is the commercial center of Vietnam as Hanoi is the political center of Vietnam.  Ho Chi Ming City is in the southeast of Vietnam surrounding the Saigon River.  This metropolis city is the most visited in Vietnam.

Ho Chi Ming City Hall
Ho Chi Ming City Hall

 

 

Municipal Theater
The Municipal Theater of Ho Chi Ming City. It was constructed in 1900 by the French during its colonial rule. It is of a typical French architectural style. During the time of North and South Vietnam, it was where the Lower House assemble. Not until 1975 it was again an Opera House and restored in 1995.

 

 

 

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The Central Post Office of Ho Chi Ming City was constructed (1886-1891) during the French occupation in the French Colonial style.
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The spectacular interior of the 19th century Central Post Office, with telephone booth and world time clocks. It is still functional at this time of e-mails and mobile phones!
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In front of the cathedral are a flower garden and a statue of the Virgin Mary which had been reported seen tears in Oct. 2005.

 

Not too far from the Central Post Office is the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon.  Constructed in 1863-1880 and the Bell Towers were added in 1895 makes it 57.6 meters tall, with the addition of the crosses made it 60.5 meters tall.

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The famous delicious Vietnamese coffee is a culture acquired from the French.
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South Vietnamese water puppet show.
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The Thien Hau Temple is a Chinese style temple worshiping MaZhu. First built in 1760 and continually made add-on and repairs.
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Many worshipers inside during the Chinese New Year creating smoking mist with incense burning.
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plaques on the wall depicting the original ties of the temple.
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The beautiful Mekong Rest Stop where we had lunch
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Our delicious Vietnamese lunch
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Along the way to Mekong Delta, we come to Vinh Trang Temple. First, come to be in 1849, then partially destroy through various wars, finally rebuilt and restored in 1907. One of the major Buddhist temples in South Vietnam.
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Shakyamuni Buddha lying posture going into Nirvana is one of the statues in Vinh Trang Temple ground

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Happy Buddha is also there. Greeting everyone there

Amitabha Buddha welcoming everyone. He is also on top of the two gates leading to the ground of Vinh Trang Temple.  One is named the convenient Dharma gate and the other is the gate of pureness.20180218_132024_001-COLLAGE (1)

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The bridge is where Mekong River goes out to sea
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Boat ride in Mekong Delta
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Our delicious meal made of various dishes of rice or rice flour.

 

Nanjing’s Qixia Mountain(棲霞山) Presidential Palace & 1912 Bar Street

Qixia Mountain has a variety of maple trees render it a spectacular place to visit in the autumn when the foliage becomes colorful.

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Entrance to Qixia Mountain Scenic Area where one can buy tickets for the bus to take you around the mountain to various scenic sites or buy tickets to Qixia Temple.

When we arrived at Qixia, the foliage was only starting to turn.  Therefore we just visit the Qixia Temple considered to be the birthplace of the “Three Treatise” school of East Asia Buddhism.  Built-in AD 489 contained a large collection of visual arts associated with Buddhism and continuously add on during different Dynasties.  It was destroyed by Taiping rebellion and restored by the Republic of China.  However, it was ransacked by the Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution.

The way to Qixia Temple
gateway into the Qixia Temple
The Pagoda in the middle of the lake is connected to the bank by a Nine Bend Bridge which makes it look like a rainbow.

 

This place has very nice sou-venir shops.  The first site we came to is Mirror Lake. It was created during the Qing Dynasty during Emperor Qianlong’s reign.

Mirror Lake created in 1644-1911

 

 

 

 

 

Going up the slope of Qixia Mountain we come upon the “Thousand Buddha Caves”.  The grotto contains many Buddhist sculptures of art.

Thousand Buddha Cave
The largest is Buddha of immeasurable life is the exact depiction of Buddha of Immeasurable Life in the Southern Dynasty around the year 489 and his attendant Avalokiteśvara and Mahāsthāmaprāpta bodhisattvas.  This is the oldest statue here which is 1528 years old.

 

 

 

 

Here is a closer look at the  Buddha caves.

Sarira Pagoda is of octagonal shape, 5 stories total 18 meters high. Highly decorated with carvings. Built-in 601 re-built in 945, holds the relics of Buddhas. The pagoda is a little worn but its underground is still in pristine condition.
Pilu Hall (毗卢殿) house a statue of Vairocana Buddha- Primordial Buddha
The Shanmen, the official entrance into the Qixia temple. The three archway is a symbol of entering the three liberation door.

Qixia Temple took in refugees during the Nanking Massacre. Saving 23000 lives from the Japanese.

Presidential Palace

This was the center of government for the Republic of China before 1949

Bar Street of 1912 was where the center of entertainment.  Bring back the nostalgia.  German brewery was new and in fashion.

old German brewery equipment
Where Chinese beer was made and sold
The modern cafe moved in to keep this area viable still.
This restaurant was popular in 1912 and kept the place the same. Even the menu is the same with some new addition.
Our dinner from the Red Restaurant