Sunday, October 3, 2010

Vietnamwartravels.com is under construction

This site is under construction as I backload pictures, videos and other content from my two previous trips to Vietnam (starting at the end of 2009) and the content I have after I moved to Vietnam. This backlog of content includes:

1) HCMC, Cu Chi and the Mekong Delta
2) Hanoi
3) Hue, Khe Sanh, Route 9 and the DMZ

So please bear with me!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Battle of Hue City during the Tet Offensive

This CBS footage documents the Battle of Hue during the 1968 Tet Offensive and shows just how violent and intense the fighting was:


* Visit the VietnamWarTravels Youtube page.

Hue: The Citadel, the Imperial City (Dai Noi) & the Purple Forbidden City

This ten minute video about Hue, the Hue Citadel, the Imperial City and the Battle of Hue is shown to visitors in the Thai Hoa Palace – the throne palace of the Nguyen Emperors located near the entrance to the Forbidden Purple City where only the Emperor and his concubines and court eunuchs could enter.


* Visit the VietnamWarTravels Youtube page.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: Visitor rules & regulations

When visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, be sure to follow all of the rules and regulations outlined below as the rules regarding dress and behavior are strictly enforced by all staff and guards. Legs must be covered (no shorts or miniskirts – however, I believe I wore shorts on the day I visited) and visitors must remain silent - walking in two lines. Smoking, photography and video are not permitted inside or in the immediate vicinity of the mausoleum.

Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Rules & Regulations

Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum in Hanoi

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (Vietnamese: Lăng Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh) is located in the center of Ba Ðình Square where Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945 - establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

Construction on the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum began on September 2, 1973 and the structure was formally inaugurated on August 29, 1975. While the mausoleum’s design was inspired by Lenin's Mausoleum in Moscow, it incorporates distinct Vietnamese architectural elements such as a sloping roof. The exterior of Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is made of gray granite, while gray, black, and red polished stone is used in the interior. The mausoleum's portico has the words "Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh" inscribed across it, which translates as "President Ho Chi Minh."

In his will, Ho Chi Minh had express a wish to be cremated and to have his ashes scattered across the hills of north, central and southern Vietnam. Nevertheless, the mausoleum was built in spite of his wishes.

The structure itself is 21.6 meters high and 41.2 meters wide and its flanked by two platforms with seven steps for parade viewing. The plaza in front of the mausoleum is divided into 240 green squares separated by pathways while the gardens surrounding it have nearly 250 different species of plants and flowers from all different regions of Vietnam.

Inside the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh's body is preserved in a glass case that lies in the cooled, central hall where there a military honor guard is present. 

Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (12)

 Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

 Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (2)

 Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (4)

 Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (5)

 Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (6)

 Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (7)

 Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (8)

 Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (9)

 Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (10)

 Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (11)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Garage of Ho Chi Minh’s used cars

The grounds of the Hanoi Presidential Palace also contain a garage with Ho Chi Minh’s used cars.

 Garage of Ho Chi Minh's Used Cars (3)

 Garage of Ho Chi Minh's Used Cars (2)

 Garage of Ho Chi Minh's Used Cars (4)

 Garage of Ho Chi Minh's Used Cars

The Hanoi Presidential Palace grounds

The grounds of the Hanoi Presidential Palace contain gardens, a pond, the Ho Chi Minh Stilt House (also known as Nha San Bac Ho or Uncle Ho's Stilt House) and several other buildings.

Hanoi Presidential Palace

Hanoi Presidential Palace grounds (6)

 Hanoi Presidential Palace grounds (2)

 Hanoi Presidential Palace grounds (3)

 Hanoi Presidential Palace grounds (4)

 Hanoi Presidential Palace grounds (5)

The Hanoi Presidential Palace

The Hanoi Presidential Palace of Vietnam was built by Auguste Henri Vildieu, the official French architect for Vietnam, between 1900 and 1906 to house the French Governor-General of Indochina. Like other French Colonial architecture, the palace’s design is European with the only visual cues that it is located in Vietnam being the mango trees surrounding it.

When Vietnam became independent in 1954, Ho Chi Minh refused to live in the palace, although he still received state guests there. Eventually he constructed a traditional stilt house, known as the Ho Chi Minh Stilt House or as Nha San Bac Ho or Uncle Ho's Stilt House. This house and the grounds of the Presidential Palace were turned into the Presidential Palace Historical Site in 1975. However, the Presidential Palace is not open to the public.

 Hanoi Presidential Palace (4)

 Hanoi Presidential Palace (5)

 Hanoi Presidential Palace (2)

 Hanoi Presidential Palace (3)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ho Chi Minh’s house at the Hanoi Presidential Palace

Before the Ho Chi Minh Stilt House, also known as Nha San Bac Ho or Uncle Ho's Stilt House, was constructed, Ho Chi Minh lived in another complex of buildings on the grounds of the Hanoi Presidential Palace. He lived in this complex from 1954 until 1958.

Ho Chi Minh's House (2)

Ho Chi Minh's House  Ho Chi Minh's House (3)

 Ho Chi Minh's House (5)

 Ho Chi Minh's House (6)

 Ho Chi Minh's House (7)

 Ho Chi Minh's House (8)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ho Chi Minh Stilt House: The gardens and fish pond

Surrounding the Ho Chi Minh Stilt House, also known as Nha San Bac Ho or Uncle Ho's Stilt House, are gardens containing weeping willows, mango trees and fragrant frangipani and jasmine. Ho Chi Minh lived in the house from 1958 to 1969, where in addition to tending to his political duties, he watered his garden and fed the carp in his fishpond.

  Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Gardens & Fishpond (4)

 

Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Gardens & Fishpond (8)

  Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Gardens & Fishpond (7)

Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Gardens & Fishpond (2)

 Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Gardens & Fishpond (5)

Ho Chi Minh Stilt House: Study and bedroom

At the back of the Ho Chi Minh Stilt House are wooden steps that lead to a second floor study and a bedroom where Ho Chi Minh lived. The study contains an antique typewriter and a bookcase filled with books in many different languages. The bedroom contains only a bed, an electric clock, an old-fashioned telephone and a radio.

Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Bedroom & Study (5)

 Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Bedroom & Study

 Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Bedroom & Study (2)

 Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Bedroom & Study (3)

 Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Bedroom & Study (4)

Ho Chi Minh Stilt House: Ground floor

The Ho Chi Minh Stilt House, also known as Nha San Bac Ho or Uncle Ho's Stilt House, contains a ground floor area next to the stilts where there are tables and chairs that were used by members of the North Vietnamese politburo for political or war meetings.

Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Ground Floor (4)

 Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Ground Floor

 Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Ground Floor (2)

 Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Ground Floor (3)

Ho Chi Minh Stilt House: Exterior

Ho Chi Minh believed the Hanoi Presidential Palace was too grand and hence when he became president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1954, he had a modest wooden structure built in a corner of the Presidential Palace's extensive grounds. This structure, known as the Ho Chi Minh Stilt House or as Nha San Bac Ho or Uncle Ho's Stilt House, was modeled on a two story ethnic minority stilt house.


Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Exterior

 Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Exterior (2)

 Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Exterior (3)

 Ho Chi Minh Stilt House Exterior (4)