May 23, 2011
23.05.2011 - 23.05.2011
Today was the first day of our 14 day Vietnam Adventure tour with Tucan Travel. It was a free day of relaxation followed by a group meeting in the evening to meet our travel mates! During the day, we decided to take a half-day bike tour of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. We saw many sites and attractions including Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One-Pillar Pagoda, Temples of Literature, Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple.
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a memorial to the Vietnamese leader of Hanoi. It is the place where Ho read the Declaration of Independence in 1945. It was interesting to imagine what it would’ve been like to be there in 1945. We learned that Ho had requested to be cremated; however, this request was not fulfilled and like Vladimir Lenin in Russia, Ho is on display and dressed in his favourite khaki suit. A dress code is in effect here; no shorts or short sleeves.
The One-Pillar Pagoda is a wooden structure imitating a lotus flower emerging from the water. It is said that if a prayer is spoken here, good health and fertility will come to you. Wearing something long such as a skirt or long pants are suggested; shorts are not permitted.
The Temples of Literature was Vietnam’s first University in 1076. The grounds of the University are spectacular. Tall, ancient trees and the entrance gate make it seem far from a typical University.
It was an interesting day and we each feel that we learned a lot about Hanoi’s history. Tonight we will get some much needed rest to prepare ourselves for the beginning of our coach tour tomorrow! Next stop Halong Bay!