Truc Lam Dai Giac Zen monastery is the first Buddhist monastery in Sapa, built in 2015. It stands on a hill on Dien Bien Phu Street. This monastery belongs to the Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen sect.
The main hall of the monastery is spacious, with a simple design. There is a big Shakyamuni Buddha statue in the center of the hall. The Buddha holds a lotus in his right hand with a gentle smile. Besides the Buddha statue are the statues of Manjushri – the Bodhisattva of wisdom, and Samantabhadra – the Bodhisattva of kindness. This hall is where the monks, and nuns in the monastery, along with other Buddhists, practice sitting meditation. Đọc tiếp Truc Lam Dai Giac Zen monastery→
How are you doing? Who do you often encounter on the streets?
I often run into some Hmong children who spend most of their time on Sapa’s streets. They are at the age of 1- 10, and most of them come from Lao Chải village.
The Hmong children usually walk around the main streets in Sapa. With some souvenirs in their hand, they work as street vendors. The children approach tourists, and ask them to buy something. Sometimes, the begging action of these children bothers visitors.
Today, I’d love to share with you a story about a mountain located right in Sapa downtown. The mountain reaches 1850m above sea level. People call this mountain “Hàm Rồng” as its peak looks like a dragon’s jaw.
How’s it going? Do you have any memories with traffic lights?
I remember, when I was a teen, my friends and I talked about traffic lights. We asked one another why Sapa didn’t have any. Some friends answered, “Sapa is just a small town. Only big cities have traffic lights”, while others replied, “Perhaps it would be hard to install traffic lights on the sloping roads in Sapa.” At that time, we all were curious to know where people would put traffic lights.
How are you doing today? Have you ever seen black mustard seeds?
In Sapa, people often cultivate black mustard plants. This sort of plant bears black mustard seeds.
Black mustard seeds usually have a dark brown colour. The seeds are smaller than sesame seeds, and look like tiny balls. Even so, these tiny seeds can sprout from soil and grow into black mustard plants with beautiful yellow flowers in large fields.
I’m fond of Sapa’s March weather. It is so pleasant with mild temperature and fresh air.
In the morning, the sky is usually misty and cloudy. Often, we might think it would be a foggy day, yet at noon the sun comes out with warm beams. Everything looks so vibrant under the sunlight. After about 6 hours of sun, we often have the chance to contemplate the sunset with gorgeous orange rays in the late afternoon.
How’s it going? What is your favorite place where you live?
One of my favorite places in Sapa is Sâu Chua. This is a small village 10km away from Sapa. The village is still a lesser-known destination for many people.
The road to Sâu Chua is narrow and sloping. This tranquil village is home to the Hmong people. They live in wooden houses, do farm work, feed animals, and plant vegetables for a living. Their life still faces many difficulties, but they are so affable and always smile.
February has come, and Sapa has welcomed this new month with rain. Rainy days might affect our mood. However, they also give us many things to feel.
Thanks to rainy days, I can stay at home and get cozy inside. I really love to see beautiful pearls of rain and dewdrops on the weeds and the three-leaf clovers on our balcony. Raindrops and dewdrops are truly natural gems.
How are you doing today? Have you done your Tet shopping yet?
These days, Sapa market is the best place to feel the cheerful and bustling atmosphere of Tet in Sapa.
Like other Tet markets, Sapa market is where people can sell and buy essential things for the Lunar New Year. From kumquats, peach blossoms, and wild orchids to many kinds of fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats, we can find almost everything in the market.
How are you doing? Have you ever seen the plum blossoms in Sapa?
When it comes to plum blossoms, people are often confused between plum blossoms and cherry blossoms, as these two kinds of flowers look quite similar.
However, it seems that plum blossoms usually bloom earlier in winter while the flowering time of cherry blossoms is in mid March. Besides, plum blossom petals have round tips, unlike cherry blossoms with a notch at the tip of each petal. Đọc tiếp Plum blossoms→
Today is Christmas. I’m celebrating Christmas. How is Christmas celebrated where you live?
In Sapa, Christmas this year is quieter compared to previous years. Because of Coronavirus pandemic, there are no festival events, and not many visitors came here on Christmas Eve. However, I still feel the joyful Christmas atmosphere in every corner of Sapa.
These days in Sapa, the weather has been colder, the spruces on the streets have become gorgeous Christmas trees, and the Stone Church looks stunning in the night like a painting drawn by sketches of light. Almost everyone is relishing Christmas with joy and happiness.
I love celebrating Christmas because it’s the time for me to send my gifts and best wishes to everyone. Christmas is also meaningful to me as it reminds me of the marvelous birth of Jesus.
Merry Christmas to you all.
P.S. I love to send you a Christmas letter from Sapa. Enjoy your Christmas Eve, Brothers and Sisters.
Today, I’d like to share with you a little bit about Sapa Church.
Sapa Church stands in central Sapa. It was built in 1926 by the French. The church is called “Holy Rosary Church” here, but the correct translation of the Vietnamese name “Nhà thờ Đức mẹ Mân Côi” should be “Church of our Lady of Rosery”. Local people, however, are more familiar with the name “The Stone Church”, as it is built with stones.
Sapa Church has stained glass windows depicting the life of Jesus. Even though the church is quite small with its simple architecture, it has a history of nearly 100 years and has witnessed the ups and downs of the town. Đọc tiếp Sapa Church →