Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Khai Dinh in the Rain


Khai Dinh Tomb
Originally uploaded by yellojkt.
The newest of the Nguyen Dynasty tombs is also the smallest. It also has the most prominant view. Located on the side of a hill, it is visible for miles around.

We arrived at the tomb during a rain shower and our guide rented us umbrellas right by the entrance. You have to love that capitalistic spirit in a socialist country. The temple is 130 steps up to the top and the rain makes the worn treads very slippery.

Khai Dinh Statue
Khai Dinh Statue
Originally uploaded by yellojkt.
The temple is also the most "western" of the tombs with a lot of French influenced decoration. Khai Dinh was very taken with French style and many of the ornaments in the temple were imported from France. The tomb itself has a lif size statue of him sitting in a canopied chair.

We were inside the temple admiring the decor when the rain picked up dramatically and the power went out. The rain got so heavy that water was about to back up into the temple from the plaza outside. A worker went out and set a hose down to siphon off the rain to run down the steps instead.

After about a half hour, the rain had died down enough for us to risk the dash back down the steps to our van. The railings of the steps are elaborately carved dragons. The dragons can be seen in this post.

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