Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hanoi Day 2...March 14, 2009

We are leaving for Siem Reap, Cambodia, to visit Angkor Wat. These two days in Hanoi have been very enjoyable, with a tour yesterday of the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh museum, the grounds around the French built presidential palace, the national art gallery, the hospital that the US bombed in June and
December of 1972, and the enchanted lake in the middle of town, where in Vietnamese legend, the king, Le Loi's sword was taken by a turtle, symbolizing the end of war. It is a beautiful lake with a pagoda on one side, dedicated to Le Loi. It resembles Lake Merrit, but larger, with lots of shops on both sides. This mornig, there were many people enjoying Sunday morning, doing exercises, drinking coffee, hanging out with friends.

War is a popular theme in the art museum. At least half of the floors of 20th century art depicted soldiers fighting either the French or the Americans, with lots of villager support. The other half depicted rice harvest, portraiture, village life, etc. All very nice. The museum, as was the hospital, was in need of repair and painting.

Must go, our ride to the airport is here.

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