Sang, my Vietnamese tour guide, took me to this old Mountain Temple complex, Chau Thoi. It turns out to be on top of the only mountain I can see from the top of my apartment building.
In the morning, Sang had taken me to a waterfall that was east of the city. After lunch, we drove west and over the Dong Nai River. We passed a few temples along the way, but he said I should see the biggest one. He was right!
This is the only “mountain” I can see from atop my 17 story apartment complex. I had no idea there was a temple on top! We could see it from a few kilometers away.
As you approach, you can see how big the temple complex is!
Chau Thoi Mountain Temple entrance
The entrance gate from just outside the compound.
The entrance gate, from inside the compound. Notice the swastika–a symbol of good luck–and the monkey. Two short videos:
The entrance courtyard. I look around while Sang does business by cell phone.
Notice the monkeys climbing on the Buddha. You often see a robe around one of these statues–red during Lunar New Year.
The dragon wall.
The view from over the dragon wall. Looks like they are putting in a subdivision?
The view from over the dragon wall. It was a hazy day, but you can see the rock quarry just beyond the buildings. I only saw trucks with gravel, but know that there is a local marble here, called hoa da cuon. (frozen flower stone).
The view from over the dragon wall. These are a pagoda on the left that you see as you drive up and a local home.
Did I mention how large everything was? And gilded. No idea if it was real gold, but it looked like it might me.
I guess that’s a good place to sleep.
The two huge Buddha statues must stand 5 stories tall. Here we see just the feet. I couldn’t get far enough back to take a good photo of either of them. I found this on the internet: “Guan Yin Bodhisattva opencast 22.5 m high, weighs 100 tons, is considered the highest statue of Binh Duong”
This boy’s job was to sell birds for people to release–it is suppose to improve your karma. The birds looked like colorful barn swallows and I’m sure he captures them over and over.
Inside the temple
This is the happy Buddha. It made me think of my friend Barbara in NYC–she loved these when we met in China. Doesn’t he make you want to laugh out loud?
I am a sucker for religious monks and nuns. I gave this Buddhist nun money.
Statue of Buddha Amitabha
this additional information on the web. Thank Goddess for Google Translate! No idea how accurate it is. Nothing in Wikipedia or my guidebook about this place.