Monday, February 1, 2010
More Hoh Chi Minh City
Our second day in HCMC we decided to take a taxi to Cholon, or China town. There are
numerous pagodas, or temples in this area, but after one or two we decided that we sort of had our fill of pagodas for the trip. We saw the Jade Pagoda the day before and it was very interesting, especially since the monks were there chanting during our visit. Lots of incense fills the air, and hangs from huge coils that are donated in the name of loved ones, making it an even more mystical experience.
This is the fabric area of the market in Cholon, which we found to be much more interesting than the Ben Thanh market. That one is closer to the main tourist area, and hence, more touristy, with merchants trying to get your attention at every turn. However here I had a few women grab my arm trying to get me into their booths. I finally bought a scarf that I didn't really want, just to get out of there. The rest of the market was very interesting an had a more local feel to it. The main markets are so big , with such narrow aisles (not meant for us large tourists) that I can never spend too much time inside of them.
This is a pile of fabric pieces that will get folded or hung as above. Everything is precut and folded in neat piles or hung around the small stalls. They are happy to cut anything you like, but prefer to sell in larger amounts than one meter which is all I even buy. When they look dismayed, and ask me what I want to do with it, I feel a little silly saying "I don't know, I just like it".
There were many shops in Cholon selling these dragon heads. So many in fact, that I wondered if every family needs to have their own dragon. It was fun to watch people shopping for just the right dragon head. Maybe like we would shop for just the right Christmas tree?
Lanterns, lanterns and more lanterns!These were in the foyer of a restaurant. I think Jim is beginning to get a little tired of me taking photos of lanterns! But he is very patient.