Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ho Chi Minh Trail

Day 349
Our alarm went off early and we quickly ate breakfast and had our hotel call us a cab.

In no time we were in line to visit Ho Chi Mihn's Mausoleum and his preserved body. There are three preserved communists to visit and I will see them all on this trip. He is my first. We were in line with loads of school kids who wanted to try out all of the English they knew on us. It was really pretty cute. Nicole was pretty sick and didn't see their appeal. The line moved quickly and in no time we were in the mausoleum. I wasn't unhappy that the line was fast, I don't think we were in there for a minute. Ho Chi Mihn looked waxen, and not like a real person. He died in 1969, I guess no one looks great after spending 38 years frozen. Pictures were not allowed and I wasn't able to find any on the internet.

Next up was the Presidential Home and Palace. I think the palace was mostly administrative. HCM lived in a rather simple stilt house by a small pond. Some of his effects where here but not much else.

Next up was the HCM Museum. This must have been one of the worst presented museums ever. I wanted to learn, but learned nothing. At one point there was a enormous table with big fruit on it. I had no idea why. There were some left over bits from the Vietnam war, but none of it was labeled. We didn't stay here very long.

We then ignored the cab and pedicab drivers who tried to tell us that our next stop was 5 km's away. Instead we walked the 10 minutes to the Palace of Literature. This wasn't a palace, but rather a temple dedicated to Confucianism. Confucian scholars had been trained here for 1000 years, but most the the building were about 600 years old. Today it is beyond crowded with tourists. The various temples and statues were really quite nice and I tried my best to get good pictures of them while reading the scant information. Around 1 pm we were ready for lunch so we left.

Nearby we found a rather fancy looking place and decided to splurge. It turns out that it was a not for profit that gave jobs to and trained street children in the hospitality industry. The food was really very good and the dessert even better. We then splurged even further and took a cab back to our hotel.

Nicole still wasn't feeling great and we had covered everything we wanted to see in Hanoi. I spent some more time blogging and then watched tv for a while.

We went to the Irish place for dinner because we thought that there would be a pub quiz. There wasn't one. Afterwards we went back to 1/2 Man 1/2 Noodle for a few drinks before calling it a night.

1 comment:

DresdenFae said...

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