Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hanoi, Vietnam...

Hanoi Hilton was the prison during the Vietnam War where they kept the American pilot POWs.  It was extremely erie walking through there trying to imagine some of the conditions the prisoners had to endure.   

These were the first pilots pulled out of the water during the Vietnam War and were held as prisoners at Hanoi Hilton. 
The flight suit John McCain wore when he was captured.  It was very interesting reading about some of the POW's stories of when they were in there.  I definitely want to learn more about it!
Katie and I in front of Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum.  Honestly, I could have done without going there, but we had to since we were in Vietnam.  Kind of weird inside. 
Presidential Palace next to Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum.  All important political discussions go on in this building.  This area was surrounded by the many embassys and Ho Chi Minh's residence.
Standing in front of the One Pillar Pagoda.
Pretty lotus flower hanging and decorations at the pagoda.
Temple of Literature (Confucius' Temple) was a university in the middle of Hanoi.  We actually went on their graduation day.  It's a tradition to take traditional Vietnamese pictures around the university at graduation.
Cool looking dragon at the Temple of Literature.  Dragons were a big deal in Vietnam. 
Katie and I got pedi-cab rides throughout the Old Quarter.  There were a few times that I was scared for my life.  Vietnamese don't believe in driving on one side of the road or using stop lights/stop signs.  They will drive where ever they feel like (usually on both sides of the road) and never actually stop when going through intersections.  Their idea of a turn signal is honking their horn.  And did I mention, there's probably a million scooters, cars, and trucks driving on these narrow roads where the sidewalks are used for scooter parking and restaurant overflow instead of pedestrian traffic.
I made it alive and safe! 
Hanoi Cathedral 
Hoan Kiem Lake right outside of Old Quarter.
We decided to walk around a little bit to pass some time before the water puppet show.
Water Puppets are a Vietnamese tradition.  They put on a story with song and music, with intricate puppets commanded by people standing behind a bamboo screen in waist deep water.  Definitely interesting to see once. 
The band at the water puppet show.
Intricate water puppets.

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