- Type: Culture
- Localyte author: Shane Wall (Võ Văn Sanh)
- Very popular with domestic and overseas Vietnamese visitors. Aside from foreign travelers I've taken there myself, I've seen less than 10 tourists here over the last decade. Highly recommended for anybody interested in the variety of ways Buddhism is practiced in Vietnam as the main attractions are the dozen or so pagodas and the temple to the Lady of the Mountain (from which it gets its name). These range from elaborately ornate structures to a solitary Monk who has set himself up in a cave. The views out over the table-top flat plains, shimmering with all the hues of green & gold rice in the paddies, and out into Cambodia, can be breathtaking on a clear day. If you visit just after harvest, expect the views to be largely obscured by smoke from the farmers burning off their stubble. There are plenty of paths around the pagoda section of the mountain, and it can be climbed. However, be warned: There are NO steps, NO paths and NO guides. It is a "clamber" up and down over rockfalls and takes about 6 hours. Although the summit (about 980m) does offer 360 degree views, you can't see the entire vista from any one single place up there. The chairlift up to the Pagodas is recommended as an introduction to the views, both out over the landscape, and down into the foliage to spot the birds and monkeys. The 'luge' ride down is a must for the kids or kids-at-heart. While the structure is safe, speeds are poorly controlled by the attendants, so take care ... unless you are a "thrill-seeker"! Jewelry and bag snatching does occur here, especially during the extremely busy Vietnamese festival days. There is usually a solid security presence, so don't be paranoid, but do be careful with your belongings. The statues, monuments and most activities are a fantastic introduction to "theme-park kitsch - Vietnamese style": light on "theme", little "style", and truck-loads of "kitsch"!
- The description was provided by Shane Wall (Võ Văn Sanh)
- Núi Bà Ðen, Tay Ninh, Vietnam
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