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Temple of Literature and Ho Chi Minh

 

So here we are... Hanoi Vietnam. We started today with a free hotel breakfast, and I was definitely expecting something different than your run-of-the-mill North American breakfast... So it was Pho for breakfast! 

Well, there was Pho Bo (beef only), eggs, fried noodles, and fresh fruit. They of course still stocked toast and jam for those less-adventerous of travelers. It was definitely a change, but in my opinion, a change for the better. 

After brkfst it was another free day, as we didn't have to meet with our tour leader until 6 pm that night. We decided to check out the temple of literature - which happened to be just half a block away from our hotel - and paid our 5,000 dong (approx 30c CAD) to get through. These temples were built in honor of Confucious and were used first as a place to study Taoist ways (I think) and then, later on in its history, was used as a university for cantonese students to learn more about Vietnam. At any rate, it was a really beautiful series of temples and relaxation pools, with loads of history behind it. A Very interesting place indeed. Oh, there was also a group of musicians in one of the buildings who were playing these traditional asian instruments with a great display of skill. 

Following this awesome sight, we decided to rest a little back at the hotel, because we were still incredibly exhausted from the flight andd walking around the previous day. Afterwards though, I found a park on the map entitled "Lenin Park" and there was a bit of writing on it in our guidebook, so we decided to hike on down to it. It wasn't super spectacular, but it was definitely a place of refuge from the hustle-bustle of the typical life of a Hanoian. 

Back to the hotel... 

Now was the time we had to meet back at the hotel to see our tour guide and fellow travelers. Hong is the name of our leader, and (thank goodness) we weren't completely surrounded by old people in our tour; there's 4 other like us. The majority of the people on our tour are from New Zealand/Australia, but there's one guy from Britain and a girl from the US. 

We had a traditional Vietnamese meal that night which was the best we've had this trip. 

The following day (today)... 

We all met up in the morning for the walking tour to go to the Ho Chi Minh complex and, after standing in line for quite some time, we found ourselves face to face with the body of Ho Chi Minh, in a large stone sarcophogus. It was surreal. 

Following that our group ventured off to the Palace area near the masoleum to see where Ho Chi had lived and done much of his work. Again, it was a really cool experience. 

Lastly we went through the Ho Chi Minh Museum, where we got our heads filled with much propaganda and WAY too much information for one day. It was interesting though. 

For the rest of our day, we need to find some food, go to see a Water puppet theatre to see some awesome water puppetry. 

Anyways, thats it for now. Hope it does you over until our next post! 

BEN.

 

 

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