Friday, October 2, 2015

A Day in Hanoi, Vietnam

On Tuesday night, I went with Justin on a business trip to Hanoi, Vietnam.  We went a day before his meeting so we could do some sight seeing.  Since we didn't have the girls, we packed a lot into 8 hours!
We booked a tour guide through the hotel and started at the Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex.  Ho Chi Minh declared independence for Vietnam 70 years ago on September 2, 1945.

 Parliament Building
 Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum

 After a walk by the Presidential Palace and the botanical garden we ended at the One Pillar pagoda.
 About 1000 years ago a childless emperor had a dream about the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara giving him a baby son while seated on a lotus flower.  Shortly after that, he married a peasant girl and had a son.  To show his gratitude he built this temple to show his gratitude.  This replica was built in the late 1950s.
 The hats were the best $7 we have spent in awhile.  It was so hot and we both forgot to pack hats.  I realized from this trip that traveling without kids is much easier, but I do a better packing job with them.  I plan much more and give more time to packing for 5 rather than just myself!

Then, it was off to the Temple of Literature.  
It is a combination of a Confucious Temple worshiping Confucius and the first Royal National University.
 A group of local woman were there taking pictures.

 Many years ago during a great flood, water covered the land and the Crane had no place to rest. The Turtle rose from the floodwaters and welcomed the Crane to rest on his back. Years later, there was a terrible drought. Seeing that the Turtle needed help, Crane lifted him up and carried him a long distance to a thriving lake. Wildly different, the Crane and Turtle became mutually supportive and enjoyed a long life as friends.

 The group of local woman now had graduation gowns on.
 We also did a tour of Hoa Lo prison.  It was used by the French colonists for political prisoners and by the North Vietnamese for prisoners of war during the Vietnam War.  Most of the prison was demolished in the 1990s but the gate house and one section are set up as a museum.
 After lunch, we had my favorite part of the day.  We took a 45 minute rickshaw ride through the Old Quarter.  I loved just taking it all in,  Usually in a busy area I am so concerned with what the girls are doing and don't get to enjoy the daily life happening around us in the areas we visit.

 The modes of transporting goods is amazing!

 Buy new or get your old ones fixed?!?!
 Our last stop......
I only took one picture at the museum.  I was hot and tired and just took the information in.
The museum was really interesting.  There was information about many of the 54 different ethnic groups in Vietnam.  The largest being the Viet who make up 86% of the population.  There were displays of crafts, clothing, spiritual practices and actual homes on a path outside.

Dinner on the 65th floor of the Lotte Hotel(Top of Hanoi restaurant) and a 90 minute massage was a great way to end a full day of sight seeing!

Life is Good when exploring a new city!

Hannah's Overnight Field Trip

Last week, I went along on the Grade 5 trip to Malacca.  Malacca(Melaka in Malay) is about 2 and a half hours south of KL and full of Malaysian history.  There are many museums and historic sites for the different groups who have ruled over Malaysia including the Dutch, Portuguese and British.

Watch out Texas.....Melaka is getting serious!
 Just keep walking......

 Half of Grade 5,  the other half went on the trip the day before us.
  As they were going home, we were arriving.
Cooling off in the pool after a long, hot day of walking!

 Day 2

Life is Good with field trips...especially overnight ones!