Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Climbing monks

Two monks take a rest after their climbing exertions at Wat Hang
When I mentioned my visit to Wat Hang a couple of days ago, I forgot to include a few more photos. Wat Hang is a few kilometres outside of the provincial capital of Tra Vinh in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. Tra Vinh is known for its Khmer pagodas, over 140 of them at the last count, and Wat Hang, the cave pagoda, also known as Wat Kompong Chray, is one of the best known, mainly because of the numbers of storks and other birds roosting in the surrounding trees - late afternoon is the time to see most activity and to dodge the bird droppings - as well as the pagoda's monks, who have earned a reputation as excellent sculptors of wood. Judging by my photos, they are also expert climbers of pagoda spires. We were given a guided tour of the pagoda by two of its teenage female residents, Cam and They, as it gave then a chance to practice their English.
Our friendly guides at Wat Hang, They (left) and Cam
Climbing monks in action at Wat Hang, doing running repairs to the pagoda's loudspeakers
The entrance to Wat Hang, also known as the cave pagoda
Not exactly a great photo for any bird enthusiasts but I think you get the idea that there were a LOT of birds in the surrounding trees

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