Hanoi, Vietnam

An early new year resolution – get back into writing posts! To be fair, it’s not entirely my fault, we’ve been living in Spain since 31st August and still don’t have wifi in the apartment. So it’s time to resume…

It’s about a year to the day since we left Laos and returned to Vietnam to see the north of the country, starting in the country’s hectic capital – Hanoi. I think the picture below sums up Hanoi streets quite well…

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Along with the typically Asian chaotic streets Hanoi also has some very European architecture, a theme in this part of the world due to the French colonising the place. I thought the mix of the two worlds was great, a roundabout full of mopeds in front of a grand theatre.

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Being a history-loving lefty while we were in Hanoi we visited the Museum of Revolution, I love me some revolutionary history! The Vietnamese love their nation’s here – Ho Chi Minh. I can’t imagine what it’s like for a country to idolise one person, we don’t have anything like this in the UK. The museum gave a good lesson on the background, the country went from a French colony to a Communist state pretty quickly under the leadership of Ho. I wanted to visit his tomb but the queues were ridiculous, almost all of those queuing were Vietnamese too – it’s not a must-do with white western tourists, it seems more like a pilgrimage any Vietnamese worth his/her salt must take. Our search to see a preserved dead body continued, Red Square in Moscow had been closed off so we couldn’t see Lenin, now this in Hanoi… stay tuned for (if I ever get round to China!) Beijing, 3rd time lucky! SPOILER.

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Elsewhere in Hanoi we saw the famous Hoam Kiem lake, it’s quite pretty. Being honest though, I think we were looking ahead to our trip to the must-do attraction in Vietnam, Ha Long Bay – our next destination. As usual in most countries cities develop rivalries and get compared a lot, in Moscow our tour guide said St Petersburg considers itself the home of culture in Russia. Naturally, Hanoi in the north is compared to Ho Chi Minh in the south, one is the capital and the other the largest city with the most trade(I think!). Of the two I think I preferred HCMC.

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