Friday, March 16, 2012

Thang Long

    It is time to finish recounting the experience of the trip north with our time in Ha Noi (Thang Long).  The Emperor Ly Thai To established Thang Long as his capitol in 1010.  Of course two years ago there was the 1000 year celebration.  In Ha Noi we got to see the Lake of the Restored Sword.  The legend says that one day the Emperor was out on his boat thinking about how to rid his country of the Chinese invaders.  A very large turtle appeared and offered him a sword telling him to use it in battle to defeat the invading army.  The Emperor was successful and  when requested, returned the sword to the turtle, hence the name of the lake.  During the 1000 year celebration a very large, very old turtle appeared in the lake.  People noticed that he had been hurt so he was given a lot of attention and great medical care then released back into the lake. 
    One of the high lights of the time in Ha Noi was our visit to see Ho Chi Minh or as most people call him Bac Ho (Uncle Ho).  Uncle Ho's Mausoleum has an Honor Guard that we got some pictures of.  You can see the changing of the guard on utube...very smooth.
   I am including pictures we took also.  No photographs are allowed inside the mausoleum and the Honor Guard members keep people moving.  Even with that one still has maybe two minutes to see Uncle Ho.
   Ho Chi Minh refused to stay in what is now the Presidential residence and had a small house built behind the building which in 1954 was then the French colonial governors mansion.
    The pictures below show the small house where Ho Chi Minh lived and worked during his time as president of Viet Nam.

     We were kept very busy in Ha Noi with all of the museums and historical places the program had lined up for us.  We visited Hoa Lo prison (Ha Noi Hilton).  I did not take pictures there.  What the French colonists created there to deal with people who wanted freedom and independence was not a good thing.  When I look at the longer historical view it is quite ironic that American pilots who were shot down were held there.  This past week I have heard several people use the word paradox to describe Viet Nam.  So now I have back up for what I have been saying all along....this is paradox in paradise.
Next vacation visit beautiful Viet Nam.
Hen gap lai

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