Monday, June 14, 2010
VIETNAM: BUDDHA AND BURNINGS
So... we finally made it to Nha Trang.
Nha Trang is noted for its beautiful beaches, its diving, the picturesque fishing villages surrounding it, and as the birthplace of Thich Quang Guc (English spelling inaccurate due to Vietnamese alphabet), a Buddhist monk who burned himself alivein protest of the policies of the Diem regime. A major Buddhist shrine has been erected in his memory. You call read all about the appalling Diem here -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngo_Dinh_Diem -- an American uber-ally whose family was so unspeakable that the U.S. government tacitly approved his assassination.
Above is the statue on top of the hill. The plaques surrounding the base are each dedicated to a monk who burned himself in copycat suicides.
Halfway up the hill is a reclining Buddha.
And here's a statue to the monk whose immolation focussed the anger of the international community against Diem, which in turn led to his assassination.
I mentioned fishing villages. Here's the entrance to one of the tackier aquariums I've ever visited. I'm surprised it's not in Dalat. :)
But the sight of the fishing villages is truly glorious, as is the sight of the boats on water. I'll be taking you to floating fishing villages in in Halong Bay and Cambodia, so let's let two photos suffice for now.