Farewell to Hanoi

Following our, late start, theory Mark and I headed out for our (Pho picture above) breakfast at approaching 10am and by the time we’d eaten and caught a taxi to the Military Museum it was closed for the morning so we adopted Plan B and walked across to the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum complex. At this point it started to rain so we sheltered under a tree for a few minutes.

The mausoleum is a huge brutalist building with a wide road running along one side. I guess the road is used for processions displaying the military. Luckily we arrived at midday and managed to catch the changing of the guard who were wearing white and conducted a formal, high stepping, ceremony.

After sheltering again,in the company of three soldiers, we wandered through the botanical gardens then back past the statue of Lenin to the museum which was now open. The initial focus is on the war of independence against France in the 1950s but another large section is devoted to what the Vietnamese call the American sabotage.

There is a comprehensive collection of captured French and American weapons with artillery, tanks and aircraft along with a moving sculpture made from downed aircraft. Standing, tail to the sky, in the centre of this work is an aircraft fuselage, dented and pierced by bullet holes.

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