Da nang, Vietnam, March 25 2006
I had a VERY full day exploring Hoi An. When the day was done, my faithful guide, Bonsoon, took me to a Karaoke bar where we met some very lovely women who turned out to want more out of the evening than be had bargained for (literally) so we left. When I got to my guest house, Bonsoon told me he would come by in the morning to take me to Da Nang. I assured him I did not need a ride from him because I already had a Tour bus booked. But I was so tired that I ended up sleeping in the next morning. Bonsoon was waiting on his motor bike as if I had never told him about the Bus. So off we went for the hour long ride to Da Nang. He offered to take me to Marble Mountain on the way. It turned out to be one of the great experiences of my Journey in Asia. Marble Mountain is a sacred site in Vietnam where marble is mined and sculpted for art enthusiasts all over the World. As we arrive at the foot of the Mountain we see shops everywhere creating and selling marble statues.
I felt inspired to do this pose for the camera. I don't know why...
Or how about this erotic piece. As we walked from shop to shop, I enjoyed touching the marble and experiencing the texture and energy from each creation.
The most powerful recurring symbol from my journey in Thailand and in Vietnam this time, is Quan Yim (pronounced Quan EEm) I always think of that porcelain figure my Mom had on the coffee table when we were growing up in Richmond Hill Ontario. This statue is three metres tall. The lions were standing near her, so I took this shot to include all three.
This woman was a great help to me. I needed to reserve a seat on a bus in Da Nang and it was thanks to her and her Marble shop that I managed to finally get my call through. 'Cau Maun' my dear friend! (Thank you!)
After walking through the town it was time to approach the Marble Mountain Temple. There are six hundred steps, carved in rock, to the top of this beautiful retreat.
The view mid way up is spectacular. What you see here is a view of China Beach. Remember the TV show? This is that beach. It was believed to be the first place the American troops landed when they came to this country.
Finally we see the clearing at the top of the carved staircase. I feel such a calm as I climb these stairs and a great feeling, as if coming home. I started to realize that it was meant to happen that I would miss my bus this morning, so that I could have this incredible experience. As it turns out this will be the most mystical experience of my whole trip.