When you’re in Batanes, always expect the unexpected. This small region is governed by the weather and the people’s strong belief. So whatever plans you’ve layout here, prepare to change it, as every turn on its winding roads, every change in the wind’s direction and the changes in the tide of the sea holds a few surprises. This we learned in extreme ways during our stay in the region.
I noticed since I was young, Halloween here in the Philippines has been greatly influenced by the American culture. Adorned in many houses especially in subdivisions, are numerous decorations from pumpkins, spiders, cobwebs and the usual monsters we grew up liking to fear like Dracula, Frankenstein, witches and the local mix of Aswangs, tikbalan, manananggal and white ladies. Those talk of ghost and other supernatural phenomenon that seems to populate our TV screens and print media whenever Halloween approaches have waned my interest recently. I used to like them growing up.
With our expedition of Central Vietnam nearing its end, after all the potpourri of sights, sounds, and tastes that invaded our senses in this whirlwind exploration, I was really looking forward in having a relaxing climax on this journey. So when I made the itinerary for this trip, I made sure we had a downtime at China BeachDa Nang.
I’m close to wrapping up my series of entries on Central Vietnam. And as 2nd to the last entry would be one of the most fun destinations in my opinion close to the city of Danang.
Entrance to Ling Ong Pagoda Cave
After visiting My Son Sanctuary we continued our journey and headed to the famous Marble Mountains, which is a cluster of 5 mountain peaks jutting out flat lands towards the sea. The mountains are also called Ngu Hanh Son or Mountains of the Five Element since each peak represents five elements; Thuy Son (water), Moc Son (wood), Kim Son (metal), Tho Son (soil) and Hoa Son (fire). The sight itself from the main road going into the city was very interesting. It just makes you think how those mountains ended up there together when most of the landscape is flat.
Traveling on the back of a motorcycle for an hour and half from the Ancient Town of Hoi An, pass the rural countryside, rich with rice paddies and farms, we headed to another of Vietnam’s UNESCO Heritage site – My Son Sanctuary.
So there we were, riding on a back of a motorcycle on a 4 hour journey towards Hoi An from Hue. It was an exciting ride speeding through the hi-ways of Vietnam. I felt I was the young Che Guevarra (hoping to look as well :P) of Motorcycle Diaries who traveled from Argentina to Chile. But the problem was I was really feeling sleepy during the trip, which is kind of dangerous when you’re on the back of the bike. Good thing our “Easy Rider” guide gave me a bubble gum to chew on to fight the sleepiness.