Friday, July 2, 2010

Monastery Gardens - Hoai Nhon - Chua Huong Mai

Hoai Nhon is a delightful fishing village situated in a cove about 40km from Quy Nhon City. It is hidden away and extremely difficult to get to, but is really one of the most exquisite spots in Vietnam.
The village is small, and sits right on the beach. There are only two temples there, and this one, Chua Huong Mai, is the largest.
It is situated on a hillside tumbling down to the beach, so the monastery complex is terraced, each building situated on its own separate cliff and accessed by steep stone steps.

The Abbott is an enthusiastic cultivator of bonsai.

The Kwan Yin terrace also doubles as an outdoor vegetarian restaurant on sabbath days. Because it is a small village, where fish is the stable diet, there is no vegetarian restaurant in town. So on the sabbath (ram) the monks and dedicated lay-people make vegetarian noodles for the villagers.

These wonderful aqua-coloured dragons tumble down many of the stairs - this colour seems to be unique to central Vietnam.

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