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Saturday, 14 January 2012

Tourists (us) in Hanoi

We arrived in Hanoi late at night and were pleased to find we had been upgraded to a suite at our lovely boutique hotel. Our restaurant that night made us Canadians welcomed by playing a continuous loop of christmas songs by Michael Bueble and Anne Murray.

Woke up next day and went off with our guide, Phuong, to tour sites around the town. We started with a local temple, "the Hung King". We saw how people burned "fake" money to provide for their ancestors.

We then lined up like soldiers to visit the Ho Chi Min Mausoleum. It was NOT what we expected. We were marched with strict decorum into a building where we passed the body of HCM lying in a glass case, "perfectly preserved" and then marched out.

The tour later showed us the modest living areas where he spent the last few years of his life; despite that they had built him a palace which he declined to live in.

We then went off to see a large park near a lake, where we a few more temples and some older men playing chinese chess.

We finished the day with a "Water Puppet" show and then an overnight train ride to Sapa.

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