A curious find in the heart of France

Les beaux-parents (the in-laws) have been talking forever about a surprise in the French countryside that they will be bringing me to before I head back to Paris… They’ve heard of ‘the place’, have passed by, but have never visited, and I will see ‘it’ when I get there.

I’m not good with waiting for surprises so it was a little discomforting that they were not giving any clues away!

So the GPS was set one day for ‘une promenade‘ somewhere: “We don’t know where, as we have never been either but it’s about 30 minutes away.”

Oh, the suspense!!

We drove in a direction I wasn’t familiar with and as we got closer, I saw a Shinto-like structure as we enter the town.
I see a buddhist monk just seconds later but still had no clue – c’est vraiment curieux!

We arrived to a temple with a beautiful oriental garden, just as I would have found back home.



It turns out that a community of Vietnamese Chinese immigrants settled in this old mining town since 1955 and have been here ever since, recreating religious relics from back home.

There is a tiny Asian grocery store where I could find almost all the typical seasonings for an asian kitchen and what’s amazing is that as soon as you drive to the neighbouring town, there is absolutely no indication that such a community even exists!

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