Finally! A break in between the long week meeting. They have arranged a half day tour for us and the weather was poor that day, drizzling all afternoon throught to night. Fret not! A gigantic chocolate chip cookie as big as a frisbee comes and saves the gloomy day!
The tour guide brought us to Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum located at Ba Dinh Square. Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body is preserved in this huge mausoleum, guarded by white uniform soldiers 24/7. We were not able to enter into the mausoleum to see his glass case tomb as it is only opened from 9 am to 12 pm.
The tour guide told us that it is a must for every Vietnamese to come here and give respects to HCM at least once in his/ her lifetime and this place is always packed on weekends.
He also told us that before HCM died, he actually wished to be cremated and buried at 3 locations: north, central and south of Vietnam so the people of Vietnam can come and pray and give respects to him easily but unfortunately as he passed on, his will was not followed by the government and instead they preserved his body and placed it in Hanoi. Although the guide did not explain further, I guess it is probably linked to part of the propaganda tool of the Vietnamese communist regime.
My personal opinion, sadly this is truly idolatrous especially regular worshipping of his embalmed body and seeing how plentiful of merchandise with his face on them are widely sold to locals but unfortunately this man will not be able to save us from wages of death and sin.
My prayers extended to this nation…
These are preserved antique French cars (Peugeot model involved) owned by HCM. One of them was a gift to him from the Soviet Union.
Honestly, in worldly perspective, HCM had achieved a lot for someone who left the country to work as a waiter in a French ship and come back as a leader that liberates the nation.
A view of his home by the pond, which he did not like staying in as it was too big for him and apparently reminded him and the locals of the painful memories of the French rule.
Instead he chose to live in a tiny stilt house not far away which had minimal facilities in it.
The pond is surrounded by trees which roots are grown uprooted from the ground..rather peculiar sight to me.
I thought his life ended rather tragically as well since he spent the last 10 years of his life in a bunker and died in there for fear of overrule and assassination. We visited the underground bunkers too where all military strategies and messages were discussed with all top leaders, it was rather scary yet fascinating how this happened not too long ago anyway.
Without a doubt, his sacrifice did leave an unforgettable impact towards the lives of all Vietnamese people.
I have been to the prison for Vietnameses the last time I came to Hanoi, and the scary images of the reenactments of the prisoners stayed clear in my mind. I can understand how this individual meant this much to the nation.
Enough about history, we were all famished after a few hour walk through history under the rain! We headed to Green Tangerine in the Old Quarters for an early dinner.
I came by here the last time but the restaurant had no more space left for me. Now…the chance came!
The appetizer was rather unique: 1st was the duck meat with sweet sauce hidden inside, much like the meat version of Tang Yuan. 2nd was this butter shortcake batter-like pastry with beetroot fillings. And 3rd, grilled vegs. The flavours were amazing. Each item brought a different feel to the palate.
I ordered the boneless chicken leg stuffed with currants, almonds, black mushrooms served with a lotus and artichoke flower in french dressing.
I got to say, this dish was way better than the ones I had in previous nights. The meat was tender and they complemented so well with the soaked currents and almonds. I did leave out the lotus portion as the taste was a bit too wierd for my liking.
If I remembered correctly, this dish cost nearly RM 60. Wow….gulps.
Finally, dessert! The passionfruit tarted in lightened meringue served with vanilla ice cream.
This reminded me so much of our local egg tarts, except that it has a fruity smell and a sweetened aftertaste. Not bad I gotta say. I did not except such a combi to work well for a tart. I couldn’t really taste the meringue, it was more pastry-like actually.
I think this cost about RM20 too..gulps.
All in all, I did have a culinary gastronomic experience in terms of taste and presentation of food here..but if I am here on a budget travel, this will surely burn a big hole in my pocket.
48, Hang Be Street,
Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi