Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Good Bye Vietnam

Well... this is it... a few last days in Hanoi and the grand Asian adventure is over! I spent a week here and it rained quite a bit of the time sooo... not so many pictures of me outside!

Anyhow - I got to go and see Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum - this is where his body is on display. When I got there it was closed - it's only open from 8 am to 11 am and they close the doors at 10:15 am... Oh well...

I also went and saw the Museum of Ethnology which is super cool! It has an indoor part where there are displays on the 52 (or so) ethnic minorities of Vietnam. There was also an outdoor part where you could go into typical houses from across Vietnam. This one is a long house...

The weaving from some of these tribes is beary beautiful!

Oh and in case I forget to mention it later - the traffic in Hanoi is crazy!! Just like in Saigon except with more cars...

Near our hotel is Hoan Kiem Lake - which means Lake of the Restored Sword. It has a pathway around it which is nice to walk.

There are two islands in the lake - one is connected to the shore by a red bridge. There is a pagoda on the island which has...

The preserved body of a massive turtle! There is still a massive live turtle in the lake - but I didn't see it. The water is kind of pea-green. If you see the turtle in the lake it's supposed to be a sign of good luck!

The other island is just a tiny one and has a little tower on it... it's called Tortoise Island.

That's the tower over there...

If you didn't know where I was - you might even think this was in France! This is St. Joseph's Cathedral... it was locked up pretty tight when I was there...

And another stop was the remains of Hoa Lo Prison. It was built by the French in 1896 and they used it as a prison for political prisoners until 1954. During the war with the Americans, many American pilots were held here and they called it the Hanoi Hilton.

Which is sort of a premonition because most of the former prison grounds now have a big hotel on them. There are only a couple of buildings left from the old prison.

Here we have the Temple of Literature - Hanoi's first university...

Students back then, centuries ago, still used a Chinese-looking script. Nowadays, there are hardly any people who can read that anymore.

It was beary pretty here and I think the students must have been distracted by all the water and the flowers!

Recognize these?? There were some in Hue too which also had a Temple of Literature. The names of successful graduates were engraved on the plaques which sit on the back of huge turtles.

One of the buildings even had a huge turtle too... gold-plated. Not sure if this one is a relative of the one in the lake or not...

Well... that's it... tomorrow it's back onto a plane to fly to Hong Kong and then on to Canada. I am looking forward to some real Canadian honey! And a change of clothes! Honestly... who only packs one set of clothes for an active little bear???? Hope you enjoyed traveling with me... next stop... Vancouver!


  1. More wonderful photos Sandy! Thank you for sharing your grand adventure! We've enjoyed following you! Travel safely!

  2. Thanks guys! It'll be great to get home and have a hot chocolate!

  3. We bet your mom is going to drink a beary lot of Starbucks, hehe.

  4. Thank you Sandy, we realy enjoyed travelling with you! We learned so much about all the places you visited! Hope you'll enjoy staying at home too. In our country we have a saying that goes like this: Oost, west, thuis best. That meens: East, west, (at) home best. :-)

  5. @Jerry & Ben - Yes - she practically mowed down a bunch of people while charging for the one in the Hong Kong airport! Ahhhh....

    @Hammie - Thanks Hammie! That's a very good saying and it's beary true!

  6. Hehe. Tell your mom that Papa did not drink "all" the Starbucks in North America while she was gone, there is plenty left! hehe