Monday, September 15, 2008

Vietnam Day 3

The national flower of Vietnam, the lotus flower:
Today we got up early and got breakfast, nothing too terribly crazy there. Then we went and picked up all our purchases from the tailors. While walking around and picking up our stuff we walked inside this little gem of a temple. I thought it was just beautiful.

We also saw another temple, but it could also be a place where Mandarins studied. They were the most educated people in the society and then they were placed in really high positions in the government. From wikipedia: For around 1300 years, from 605 to 1905, Mandarins were selected by merit through the extremely rigorous imperial examination.
China has had civil servants since at least the Zhou Dynasty. However most high ranking positions were filled by relatives of the sovereign and the nobility. It was not until the Tang Dynasty when the final form of the mandarin was completed with the replacement of the nine-rank system. The mandarins were the founders and core of the Chinese gentry. The mandarins were replaced with a modern civil service after the fall of the Qing Dynasty.

Then while we were waiting for an alteration to be finished and Mel got a leg waxing of sorts. The lady did this with a piece of string and some chalk. Check out the video:

For lunch we had fried wonton
and Cracker noodles

Then we went to the beach. It is so beautiful here. No big high rise resorts and other things to distract from the natural beauty of the beach.

While I was out there I bought pearls from a nice girl, Sen. The pearls are real, but they are imperfect. They are from Ha Long Bay. It is a bay in northern Vietnam that is really beautiful and known for their pearls. Sen was awesome to talk to. She has picked up various phrases from people on the beach and said them to us. She said things like "don't worry, be happy" and "don't be lazy, get crazy" then she told me that if I buy pearls from her "sh*t won't happen".
As it started to get dark the little cabanas on the beach put candles and mats out on the sand for people to sit and eat at or drink at. We got coconut water, which is the same idea as coconut milk but coconut water comes from a very young coconut and therefore isn't all that thick yet. To end the day we had some amazing fish again. We also had scallops

and pumpkin with garlic.
It was a good day and very laid back and relaxing.

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