Friday, December 21, 2012

Hanoi 2 Presidential Palace Complex (12/21/2012)

Friday, December 21, 2012
We had some time to check out the original Metropole lobby:
and see the courtyard in daylight:
Our Viking Program Directors, Tin and Tom, gave a trip briefing:
Tin (Anglicized version of Thien) is from the DMZ area of the South and Tom is from the North. Both were very personable and hard-working fellows.
We were assigned to Tin's group for the trip, and had to be sure to board the motorcoach marked TIN:
Large banners and temporary installations celebrated the victory over US B52 bombers in December 1972:
In the French colonial days, wide frontages meant greater taxes:
Nowadays, buildings are combined:
These people are enjoying morning tea, but why do they look cold? It must be in the 70-degrees Fahrenheit!
Kent noticed that every tree had a street number:
Every tree in the city is numbered and assigned to a family who must care for it.
Some motor scooter traffic:
A lone woman with a bicycle:
We were dropped off in Ba Đinh Square, which faces the new Ba Đinh or Assembly Hall:
For some reason the plaza is divided into 240 squares of grass.
On the opposite side of Ba Đinh Square, from left to right, is the slogan "Socialist Republic of Viet Nam forever:"
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum:
And another slogan "Chairman Ho Chi Minh will be in our lives forever:"
What makes this edifice not strictly Soviet in architecture is the fact that the roof flares outward/upward:
Note the guards in white uniforms.
Changing of the guard:
The mausoleum from the rear:
We were unable to visit Uncle Ho today. Since he is portrayed as a simple peace-loving man who wanted to liberate Vietnam from France, he is loved by all of the Vietnamese, North and South.
French colonial buildings abound, this one is used by the Ministry of Internal Affairs:
The former Presidential Palace, originally the (French) Indochina Governor-General's Palace:
Ho Chi Minh refused to live in the Palace.
Here is a pergola where he would greet guests on nice days:
A captive peacock:
Instead, Ho Chi Minh moved into the electrician's house on the property, next to the carp pond:
The bedroom:
The garage held three automobiles, a 1954 Russian Zis, a 1955 Russian Pobeda:
and a 1964 Peugeot 404:
Ho Chi Minh did not use these cars.
He only lived in the electrician's house for 4 years, until his stilt house could be built:
Actually quite big and quite nice, except for having no bathroom:
The office:
A peek into the bedroom with his pith helmet and a vase of his favorite flowers:
The flowers are Hoa hue trang/Polianthes tuberosa/Tuberose.
Taxodium distichum/Bald Cypress knees:
Ho Chi Minh had Mangifera indica/Mango:
and Citrus maxima/Pomelo trees planted on the grounds:
A variety of Ho Chi Minh hats are popular souvenirs:
Bamboo root carvings:
The Canada Embassy:
Celebrating 40 years of diplomatic relations; the Canadians were assigned to monitor the 1973 Paris Peace Accords cease-fire agreement.
Next: Hanoi 3 Temples.

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