Vietnam Day 21

Still exhausted from doing a lot of nothing we wake up just in time for breakfast on the eleventh floor. After some fried rice with eggs we head back to our room to pack and snooze, yes we snooze a bit longer and wake up just in time for checking out and arranging transport to the airport this evening. As we only had seen the better part of the old quarter during our previous stay in the city we decided to be a bit cultural and walk to the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh. During the half hour walk we pass the familiar sights of traffic on the verge of chaos and endless shops with North Face jackets. As we get closer to the mausoleum we pass a military museum with a large statue of Lenin on the other side of the street.

A large number of cars parked on the sidewalk tells us we have reached the various embassy’s with security guards guarding the entrances. In the distance we see the facade of the mausoleum and as we get closer we notice the broad lane in front of the mausoleum where military parades are held as we had witnessed in Kuala Lumpur. Across from the mausoleum a large government building for the communist party. Their is a long perimeter around the mausoleum marked with a white line and small signs informing people not to cross the line. One daring tourist steps across the line and before his foot touches down one of the security guards in white uniform starts blowing his whistle and gesturing wildly to move back.

We entire the palace gardens where the most parts are not a visage for tourists so we follow the large stream of visitors through the garden past the presidential palace, Ho Chi Minh his living quarters, the cars he drove and the garden house where he has received many heads of state. One look at the large museum outside the garden is enough for us as we feel we have learned enough about the well spoken, well traveled, musically talented and gifted leader of the communist Vietnamese. We walk back to the old quarter, stop for lunch and feel ready to head back to the cold rain at home.

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