Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hang pagoda

One of the sculpting monks at Wat Hang (Chua Hang in Vietnamese)
Wat Hang, a few kilometres outside the town of Tra Vinh was one of so many interesting places I uncovered on my visit to the Mekong Delta in October of last year. The Khmer pagoda is renowned for its flocks of storks, cranes and herons that nest, noisily, in the tall trees surrounding the vihara, as well as its monks, who are famous for their ability to create beautiful wooden carvings. I also encountered a bunch of friendly schoolgirls who live in one of the dorms at the pagoda and attend the nearby school and who gladly showed me around, communicating in broken English and a smattering of Khmer. The brightest spark amongst them was 17-year-old Cam, who proudly told me she played football and lots of other sports and had an infectious giggle. The monks were friendly too, with two of them climbing to the top of the vihara to carry out repairs, and the pagoda is well worth a visit if you are in nearby Tra Vinh.
New friends at Wat Hang including Cam, stood in front of me. We were standing on top of their dorm which was a great vantage point to see the birds in the surrounding trees.

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Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Please note:
In the background of the group photo, you can see two monks in orange robes sitting on the roof of the vihara. They were having a rest after climbing to the top of the main spire to do some repairs. Very often a lack of money means that the monks are the ones who carry out the building work and repairs needed to keep a pagoda in good shape.

April 19, 2011 at 10:57 AM  

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