Hanoi: Ho Chi Minh's Tomb,
         Water Puppets,
     and the Hanoi Hilton
Vietnam
As Vietnam's capital, if Hanoi has a symbol, it has to
be Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum.  It was Ho who fought
both the French and the Americans in an attempt to
unify the country under his leadership.  Ho's cause
triumphed after his death.
As with Lenin and Mao, Ho Chi Minh's corpse is
preserved under glass and open to visitors.  He looks
very elderly and dignified.  No cameras allowed.   
Hanoi's Water Puppet Theater is the best show in town.
This a unique Vietnamese art form, and the puppets
perform complex tricks that can only be captured on video.
The water puppeteers come out from behind the
curtain for well deserved applause at the end.
Vietnam's main prison for holding (and torturing) American
POWs was known as the Hanoi Hilton.  Originally built by
the French, most of this huge structure was demolished and
replaced by a modern skyscraper.  A small museum remains
and it focuses upon the torture of Vietnamese by French
colonialists.  Only a few exhibits, such as the cot above, are
from the Vietnam War period.
There are pictures of a few American prisoners, including
Senator John McCain of Arizona.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free video of this trip by clicking
on:
Ho Asked Me to Go