My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

“Hanoi Hilton” and other Historical areas of Hanoi

Day 12/12

Started the morning by walking to the St. Joseph Cathedral, (15% of Vietnamese are Catholic).  There were many young children on a field trip to the Cathedral.  This was the only church we were able to enter during the trip, and so we lit a few candles for those that we’ve lost. IMG_2912.jpgIMG_2904.jpg

 and then continued onto the “Hanoi Hilton” or the Hỏa Lò Prison. The experience in there was very difficult to process. The French originally built this for Vietnamese political prisoners and first opened the prison in 1880’s. Later it became better known by Americans during the Vietnam War as many American POW’s were kept there including John McCain. Though prisoners reported much torture and interrogation techniques, in the museum today the Vietnam would have you believe that the prisoners loved their time there and enjoyed a happy social life while captivated including time playing cards, chess, shooting pool, and eating a lot of chicken, eggs and food.

Much of the propaganda in the museum currently would have you believe that it was like summer camp for the prisoners. I took photos of how the Vietnam highlighted how other countries helped them during the war and protested the Americans invasion. I showed some of these pics to friends from one of the countries highlighted and she laughed and replied that NONE of those pics were from a protest but rather from a parade for the New Year and one of the other pics didn’t even have the correct language on the store signs. More examples of propaganda on their part.IMG_2931.jpgIMG_2937.JPGIMG_2706.jpg

We then took at tuk tuk (motorcycle with a riding cart behind it) to Truc Bach Lake the lake that John McCain landed in when he was shot down in Hanoi. It is one of the largest lakes in the city. There is a beautiful pagoda on the lake called Tran Quoc and it is the oldest pagoda in Vietnam. It was built in the 6th century. It is built more like an Indian Stupa.IMG_2960.jpgIMG_2965.jpgIMG_2726.JPG

From here we walked to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, which was built in 1975. It reminded me of our Lincoln or Washington Memorials. It is a stand alone structure that is to honor the beloved Ho Chi Minh. There is a paved plaza out front that is long enough for a plane to land on.IMG_2968.jpg

Lastly we met our friends for dinner on “chicken street”, where every single stall had chicken and the most desired treat were chicken feet.  Harry tried one, but I passed 🙂  My favorite item was the dessert… They took french baguette and smashed them flat then roasted them over an open fire.  After they got a little grilled they put honey on it and roasted it some more!  Yummy.

On our walk home we saw some street dancers inviting us into their restaurant! IMG_2974.jpgIMG_2731.JPG



Leave a comment »