Vietnam marked the 33rd anniversary of the Fall of Saigon last April 30, 2008 and since it was a national holiday, H and I thought it would be a good day to visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. However, we got rained out and rather than risk swimming in puddles, we decided to head out to see the One Pillar Pagoda which is about 20 minutes away from where we live.
The little pagoda you see here, was built by monks who fled from there after the country was partitioned in 1954. During the Vietnam Was, the temple was used by the Vietcong as an undercover camp. Despite President Diem’s efforts to destroy the pagoda, the monks were able to keep the structure safe.
The unique structure rises from the middle of a lotus pond and a narrow staircase leads from the pond’s edge to the porch-like entrance. The pagoda has many windows and provides an almost unbroken 360-degree view.
From the pagoda, we headed out to Phu My Hung to have lunch with some new-found Pinoy friends — actually friends we re-connected with since we were all at the same Jesuit University at some point in our lives. Lunch was fabulous dimsum, capped off by steaming hot mugs of Gloria Jean’s Coffee - yes, the first American coffee franchise I’ve seen here