This is our second day in Vietnam and our first full day in Hanoi. This post will cover the first part of our day’s tour of the city, quite a bit of which was specific to Ho Chi Minh. I’m not going to write much about him as it is better to refer you to Wikipedia’s page which can be found here. There is no doubt that Ho Chi Minh, or Uncle Ho as he is popularly known, is still greatly revered by the Vietnamese people.
Starting on a lighter note, you might remember that I said earlier, that the cities never sleep in Vietnam. There is a continuous ‘buzz’ of motor scooters, day and night, as the population dashes from one enterprise to another, wheeling and dealing. Free enterprise is certainly well established. As soon as our tour bus pulled up outside the hotel, this young lady arrived on the back of a scooter, jumped off and waited to ambush us as we appeared, and sell us ‘tee shirts’. It is all done very nicely though, with lots of smiles. Just be aware that the initial asking price is at least twice what you should pay. This girl was prepared to take no for an answer, but at the slightest sign of interest, would chatter non stop with alternative deals, all of which were too expensive. Make an offer, and as long as it was reasonable, this got a result.
Once we escaped this ambush, we were driven to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. You have to be careful not to cross that ‘white line’. If you do, a soldier quickly appears blowing a whistle and pointing to the line. This next shot is of a young Vietnamese family being photographed in front of the mausoleum.
The guards, who have to be precisely matched in height.
Another young Vietnamese couple, deep in thought as they ponder on Uncle Ho in his last resting place.
From the mausoleum, we walked to Ho Chi Minh’s House, via a number of other landmarks, one of which, the residence of the Governors General of French Indochina, seen below, is now a Communist Party guesthouse. Ho declined to live here himself, stating that it now belonged to the people. Instead he opted for the simple wooden house by the lake, which follows. He worked and slept in this simple wooden house on stilts. Meetings were held underneath it. It is now an immaculately preserved tourist attraction.
The next two pictures are of a worker, probably a gardener looking after these public gardens. I added the monochrome version as I thought it suited the subject well.
This is the back of the Mausoleum as we walked to the One Pillar Pagoda,
and this is the One Pillar Pagoda
with Dee standing in front of it. Take a look at the Wikipedia link to learn more.
An orange coloured flowering tree nearby that I though was worth a snap.
We had a little time here, to look around the immediate area before going for lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, the tour of Old Hanoi continues by Cyclo, or Cycle Rickshaw, and will be the subject for the next post. Please come back to take a look.
If you missed the first post on our tour of Vietnam, it can be found here.