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Published: December 11th 2005
My orrswomen, hawker who helped me up the mountain but drove me nuts with her constant "You buy from me."
Ngat Dao it turns out is quite a negociator. We wanted to go to the Perfume Pagoda. The tour company right here in the hotel said they would take us for 15 dollars per person. That included a two-hour drive by bus, two hour boat ride, guide, lunch and return. Sounded like a bargain to me. However, Ngat thought she could do better. She went to another agency, got a price of 12 dollars. Then another and the price was 9. Then she went back to the first one and they agreed to drop from 15 to 9. For both of us it was a savings of 12 dollars.
The trip to the pagoda started early around 7:30. It was a long ride in a new minibus/van but through beautiful country. It was like Halong Bay only on land. Two hours in that bus was about my limit. Then the boat ride. That got a little long too, but what breathtaking scenery. The little boats were flat bottom, orr powered by a woman. The women orrsman also doubled as a salewomen and all the way upstream it was a constant: “You buy from me.” This got a little old.
arrived at the mountain for the two hour trek to the perfumed pagoda. Wow, so many steps. I was twice the age of anyone in our group and this exercise got to me. Well, the boat woman was right at my side and another boat woman joined in and helped me, fanned me with their conical hats all the way up the mountain. I could probably made it with out their help but I was at my limit. I was grateful and course the women wanted money. I figured these women probably were good insurance keeping me from falling and breaking something so I gave all of them 100,000 Dong (about six dollars). Miss. Ngat thought I was a little too generous and I had to hear her go on and on about me spending too much.
I am not too much into Pagodas, I went for the scenery. It was an absolute beautiful part of Vietnam and the world. The water was crystal clear and there were lily blossoms all along the river. Fisherman were busy placing their nets and farmers were tending their fields all along the river. Maybe the biggest plus of all was the eery quite
Part of my group. Young and all had more energy than me.
we experience away from the constant honking on the highway and cities.
To see all of this you have to pay the price of sweat and more sweat as you follow the trail to the Perfumed Pagoda.
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