By: Alex Colvard
We have been in HaNoi for a few weeks now. Our hotel is situated in location that is great for walking. This weekend we traveled around our home away from home. After our classes on Friday, Ken and Fran took us to the seat of Government in HaNoi, just fifteen minutes walking from our hotel. We crossed the crowded streets like professionals, we passed Stalin Park, countless embassies, and many Communist government officials in uniform. Then we reached our destination the Ho Chi Minh Complex and One Pillar Pagoda. Photo Credit: Paula Garcia.
Above is the group in front of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum which usually houses the preserved body of Good Ol’ Uncle Ho, unfortunately Ho Chi Minh was away on a rejuvenation vacation. Photo Credit: Paula Garcia.
We also tried to visit the Ho Chi Minh Museum, however it was closed. But the architecture was cool!
To Fran’s delight, one thing that was not closed was the One Pillar Pagoda. The Pagoda was built after the architect was visited in a dream by a Buddha. We took in this Pagoda and its claim to fame and then moved on.
Photo Credit: Paula Garcia.
Since we finished with the historical sites sooner than expected we decided to take a walk to one of the lakes called West Lake. While we were walking we passed this huge mustard colored French Building which was built when the French Colonialists had control over Vietnam. Funny thing is that we were not supposed to photograph it so we were quickly ushered away by a guard. Following are photos taken on our way to ice cream.
Friday was lovely.
Saturday we went on a walking tour of the Old Quarter near our hotel with Tony as our guide.
On our tour we walked around looking down allies that house many families and businesses. We tried several different Vietnamese foods such as chicken off the street, egg coffee, and many other uniquely Vietnamese foods. After our food tour we went and saw traditional Vietnamese Water Puppets.
We watched the intricate figures weave majestically in the water as skilled hands carefully manipulated them behind the curtain. We viewed the tales from a theater in the city, but the puppet shows were originally preformed in rice patties.
Sunday we took the day to rest. A few of us went to church in the morning and heard Fran and Ken’s sermon at their old church and after lunch all of us headed to the Army Hotel to swim and work out in their gym. It was a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of busy HaNoi and classes and our internships.
HaNoi is such a huge, beautiful diverse city. I am so glad we got the oppertounity to explore a bit of it as a group this weekend. Ken and Fran work hard to make this trip the best it can be and I am so thankful to be able to experience it with this group of people!