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Published: April 3rd 2019
Of course, there’s more to Hanoi than the HCM memorial gardens. The city fair boils with activity. People mill around constantly. Otherwise, they sit outside their little businesses on bizarre small chairs or stools. They eat, they chat, they smoke. But how they do it on one of those minuscule seats for hours on end, I’ll never know.
We made our way to the War Museum stopping to have a coffee near to the city’s ancient fortress and flag tower. Just behind we found a display of planes, tanks and guns. Arguably, these are the very things people associate with Vietnam even though it’s nearly 50 years since the conflict ended.
I don’t think this country will ever fully shake off that unfortunate association. And maybe that’s as it should be. A reminder to us all that the legacies of war will outlast anything good a country might do. But is it the right way to be remembered?
We made our way back to central Hanoi stopping on the way to have a beer at a trackside shop. Yes, a shop, mere inches away from a busy commercial rail line. You can walk the rails and take photos
Not a DC2
A Russian copy
to your heart’s content. No tinpot employees will admonish or fine you for trespassing. More likely, they’ll remind you to breathe in as the train approaches.
After a spot of traditional Pho for lunch, we were pretty much done. We’d had an early start to ensure we kept our appointment with Uncle Ho and our hectic schedule had finally caught up with us. Back to the Belle Vie for a rest and dinner in the hotel restaurant. Then a well-deserved night’s kip.
Now that’s what you call a solid day of tourism.
Off to Halong Bay first thing.
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