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Hanoi-Vietnam-The Hanoi Hilton & Water Puppets

Yesterday, I went on a walking tour of the old quarter of Hanoi from the hostel. I don't have much hope for hostel walking tours, as the guides generally don't seem to know that much. But Bob really did know a lot and I learned a lot yesterday.

I learned that there is a alley with all sorts of folks cutting meat and serving food, right across the street from the hostel. So right across the street, and we don't even know it.

Bob took us to his old church, which is a beautiful cathedral called St Joseph's Church. While the outside looks sort of dark and stained by coal-the inside is majestic and shines like most European ones. He showed us his dad, who was working outside the cathedral watching the motorbikes parked there. Bob mentioned there was one church service on Sundays that we're conducted in French.
Bob took us for a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake, and showed us the temple in the middle of the lake that built in tribute to a leader who fought in the dynasty in the 13th century, and the turtle tower, which stands in the middle of the lake, and was homage to Kim Qui, who was given a sword to fight off the Chinese. When the battle was one-a turtle came to relcaim the sword, hence the named the turtle tower in the middle of the lake. We also saw ladies practice a dance routine, which was pretty good. They take a video and have it posted to Youtube.


We went for Vietnamese egg coffee, to some place nobody could find-up some secret flight of stairs. The coffee was absolutely delicious-it was more like a desert then a coffee. i had that and a chocolate coffee, and I was highly caffeinated for the rest of the day


We had a delicious mint ice cream as well. Bob also talked about what it was it was like to be gay in Vietnam. His parent's friends and neighbors always talk behind his back, and wonder what is wrong with him.

After the tour-I went to the Hỏa Lò Prison, which was built by the French to house Vietnamese revolutionaries. It later held the US Prisoner of War, like John Mccain. The entire prison was interesting, including stories of how the revolution was planned from the Vietnamese under French rule, even though it was forbidden by the French. The part on the POW's was very interesting. They we're humanely treated, according to signs on the exhibits. They played games like chess, and had outdoor activities like voleyball. They we're allowed to have church services and a Christmas dinner. it says the Vietnamese followed the Geneva convention, unlike the Americans who mistreated Vietnamese.


I then walked back to the lake. I walked around. It was dark out, and there we're all sorts of entertainers. There was a street fair going on. I went to a water puppet show, with traditional Vietnamese music. It was quite nice, but sort of long. The show as entirely in Vietnamese.

After that, there was a street fair which i went to, which was good, I ate all sorts of street food, and went back to the hostel after that.

Posted by DavidPearlman 18:20 Archived in Vietnam

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