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Tag Archives: socialism

Vietnam – perfect harmony or inner tensions?

Say you are at Hoam Kiem Lake and decided to visit to Ho Chi Minh mausoleum. You could take a bus ride using the public transport. Or you could jump on a scooter – drivers are on every street corner waiting to make a buck by taking you anywhere in Hanoi. Of course, experiencing Hanoi traffic in such a way is not for the faint hearted. But best of all, go on foot. After all the Mausoleum is within walking distance.

Hanoi, Hoam Kiem Lake, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

    When you reach point C, you’ve come half way. Lenin park. Lenin park is not big, but in crowded Hanoi it is one of the few places (including Hoam Kiem Lake) to enjoy some greenery and open space… and do skateboarding if you are a young Vietnamese boarder.

Hanoi, Lenin Park

Hanoi, Lenin Park

But the more interesting location is on your left. I am talking about the Vietnam Museum of Military History. The museum yard is full of captured US gear, including hellicopters and all kinds of military equipment. But it is not what’s most interesting about it. There are the famous words a US major said to journalist Peter Arnett about provincial capital Ben Tre (a town in South Vietnam) “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it“. And save towns this way they often did. Many villages, such as My Lai  in South Vietnam were saved too. But unlike all other nations which were bombed by the US all the way through establishing a US-friendly government who never wanted to fiddle with the ‘errors of the past’, Vietnam can afford to tell its own version of the war (still). So, except the great variety of military equipment on display – which is interesting to see by itself, you can also learn details of the indigenous techniques developed by the Vietnamese to push the foreign troups out for good (such as inventing smokeless stoves to avoid telling off their presence by smoke, and many more).

Vietnam Military History Museum

Courtesy:  John Tomlinson @ www.aviationmuseum.eu

   Finally, you reach your final destination. Point D – the mausoleum itself. The open grass area around it is a favorite for families with children in the evening. Read more of this post

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