I finally decided to give in and visit somewhere touristy. Somewhere touristy that – gasp – charges an entrance fee. (Note to students and recent graduates: Hold on to your student ID cards, they will often get you a major discount at places like the three pagodas — in this case half off.)
I went an hour before closing time allowing me to have the place pretty much to myself, and after being adrift in a sea of tourists throughout the town, these were some welcome moments of peace.
The pagodas were build in the 9th and 10th centuries as a means of protection against natural disasters caused by dragons. So far, they’ve worked, and not a single dragon has been spotted since. (Can you believe it?) The unique architecture in addition to the excellent view over the lake and surrounding mountains has earned the Pagodas a spot on my list of places actually worth paying for.