I’ve actually been in North Vietnam for some days now. Today I finally have some time to catch up with my blog.
So what have I been up to?. Well I flew from Da Nang, in central Vietnam, to Ha Noi the capital city. The flight was good, and the Hotel location was perfect, slap bang in the middle of the old district close to the lake. When I arrived I was greeted by Toan, who’s taken care of me since then! Toan suggested an itinerary for my stay and as organising the places I wanted to visit was going to take some time I went with it. The itinerary looked like this: A few days in Hanoi, then leave for Ha Long bay, return to Hanoi to head north to Sa Pa, back to Hanoi and a few days in Ba Be national park. Thanks to Toan for taking care of me so well!
Hanoi is quite different compared to Saigon as a major city. Here you really feel the impression of the Vietnamese government, where in Saigon it had opened it self up up to western culture and was flying by the seat of its pants! Ha Noi however is more controlled and organised…apart from the traffic! which is more mad than ever.
I hope the photographs will give you a feel for the place, initially I was a bit slow to get going, I then walked through the old district market just when school was finishing, to find a sample of Ha Noi life. It was so eventful there I was able to blend into the rush hour flow and pick out some moments in time. Take a look….
I set out walking from the old district to the north, and stumbled across a Catholic church. There are around 5.600,000 catholics currently living in Vietnam, that’s about 6.8% of the population. As always religions brings great art and sculpture.
The Tran Quoc pagoda on the West lake.
Some street scenes
I visited the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum and museum.
Hồ Chí Minh
A description from Wiki.
“19 May 1890 – 2 September 1969), born Nguyễn Sinh Cung, also known as Nguyễn Tất Thành and Nguyễn Ái Quốc, was a Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader who was prime minister (1945–55) and president (1945–69) of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). He was a key figure in the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945, as well as the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and the Việt Cộng (NLF or VC) during the Vietnam War.
He led the Việt Minh independence movement from 1941 onward, establishing the Communist-ruled Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 and defeating the French Union in 1954 at the battle of Điện Biên Phủ. He officially stepped down from power in 1965 due to health problems, but remained a highly visible figurehead and inspiration for those Vietnamese fighting for his cause—a united, communist Vietnam—until his death. After the war, Saigon, the former capital of the Republic of Vietnam, was renamed Hồ Chí Minh City; however, the name Saigon is still very widely used.”
Many affectionately call him “Uncle Ho” an almost father figure to the country. Pictured below is the English solicitor, Francis Loseby who helped Ho Chi Minh to escape from Hong Kong . Ho was arrested in Hong Kong in 1931 by British authorities for his involvement in revolutionary activities and was imprisoned for two years. After he was released/escaped Ho returned to Moscow where he would remain until 1938.
More scenes around Hanoi. Doesn’t this grandfather just epitomise joy with his granddaughter.
Well I thought I would come across it at some time. Yes cooked dog, I didn’t sample it, but its common in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese flag is everywhere. Again quite different to the appearance off Saigon.
One street I walked down was full of Mannequin shops, looked quite surreal.