Go check out the Long Son Pagoda topped by a giant white Buddha that looms large high on a hill. A mystical-feeling climb of 152-steps eventually gets you to the top, where you can enter the temple and light some incense. Outside are really evocative rows of mausoleum walls through which you can walk, and views of the city that might as well have been Brazilian favelas: colorful shacks inhabited by very poor people, dotting a landscape layered with hanging laundry, gorgeous turquoise waters, and pristine islands scattered like so many crumbs around the bay.
As you ascend, make a point to stop at another giant Buddha, this one lying down. You’ll also pass a huge gong, and a monk will invite you to come sit inside while he rings it three times. It was a spiritual little moment.
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