One of the many tourist attraction in Hanoi is seeing the preserved body of Ho Chi Minh. When you think about it, it’s kind of creepy. The tourist attraction is free but the queue to get in is very very long. We queued for around 2 hours before we were finally inside. The millions of school kids in the line will surely keep you entertained by shouting “hello” at you at every opportunity!
Before being allowed into the mausoleum our camera was taken off us along with our bag.
Ho Chi Minh mausoleum where the big man resides
When we reached the building we were ushered through very quickly by soldiers with guns. We spent no longer than 2 minutes looking at the preserved body of Ho Chi Minh through a glass coffin.
After seeing the main man we got the camera back and headed around the grounds which included his old house, cars and other personal items. It was interesting and provided a good opportunity to learn more about the country’s history.
His old house
His summer hangout
We then jumped into a cab to get to the other side of the city to visit a couple of museums. After a short period we realised that the meter in the cab was rigged and the price of the fare was going up, up and up. The fare went past $7 which is where it should have been, to over $10, then $15. We both started to shout at the driver who then shouted back and threatened to call the police. However John was quite adamant it was a scam, gave the guy $10 or so, explained that was all he was getting and we both jumped out the cab. He drove off!
The whole experience left us a little annoyed, but we handled it well.
We continued our educational day trip by visiting two museums in the afternoon. Hoa Lo Prison which is also know as the Hanoi Hilton where prisoners of war from the French occupation and the the war with the US were held.
Hoa Lo Prison – The Hanoi Hilton
Propaganda levels were not too bad (more of that to come down in the south) and it gave a good history of the occupation by the French and the prisoners that were held during the war with the US including presidential nominee John McCain. He crashed his plane into Trúc Bạch Lake which we visited the other day and spent 5 years in prison. His flight suit and parachute were on display in the museum.
John McCain’s old flight suit
After lunch we then headed over to the impressive Bảo Tàng Phụ Nữ Việt Nam known as the Women’s Museum.
The Women’s Museum
Set over several floors it covered different topics from marriage, women in the country and a really interesting section on the women you see selling fruit in the streets.
The display of one of the women that roam the street
In the evening we ate street food again, picking up some ngô xào on the way back – a wierd fishy sweetcorn snack.