Monday, August 29, 2011

Adventures in Vietnam: Part II

We started the third day of our trip at the National Museum of Vietnamese History. It's a nice museum and though it's not really big, it offers a pretty thorough overview. There was barely anyone there so we spent a couple quiet hours looking around inside and checking out the outdoor exhibit.
This day was better planned so at 11 o'clock when all the sights started closing for a two hour window we were finished at the museum and decided to wander in search of lunch.
We had lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant and it was pretty tasty. You'd think that being in Vietnam we'd be getting Vietnamese food at all the restaurants we went to but really, most of the trip we were eating Western dishes. Personally I've never enjoyed trying new foods because I'm always terrified I'll get a flavor/texture that freaks me out (though I have been much more adventurous since coming to Korea). So I consider the two or three dishes of local cuisine that I actually did try to be making an effort. 

After lunch, we came across Saint Joseph's Cathedral which according to Grandma Wiki was built in 1886 and is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hanoi. 
These kids kept saying hello and talking to us as they road their bikes.

In the afternoon we ended up at the Temple of Literature.
Although several Temples of Literature can be found throughout Vietnam, the most prominent and famous is that situated in the city of Hanoi, which also functioned as Vietnam's first university. The temple was first constructed in 1070 under King Lý Nhân Tông and is dedicated to Confucius, sages and scholars.
Hopefully I'll get around to posting everything from this trip before my next trip to Shanghai in two weeks!

Trivia of the Day: The flag of Vietnam, also known as the "red flag with yellow star" (cờ đỏ sao vàng), was designed in 1940 and used during an uprising against French rule in Cochinchina that year. The flag was used by the Việt Minh, a communist-led organization created in 1941 to oppose Japanese occupation. At the end of World War II, Việt Minh leader Hồ Chí Minh proclaimed Vietnam independent and signed a decree on September 5, 1945 adopting the Việt Minh flag as the flag of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The DRV became the government of North Vietnam in 1954 following the Geneva Accords. The flag was modified on November 30, 1955 to make the edges of the star sharper. The red background was inspired by the flag of the communist party, which in turn honors the red flag of the Paris Commune of 1871. It symbolizes revolution and blood. The five-pointed yellow star represents the unity of workers, peasants, intellectuals, traders and soldiers in building socialism. Until Saigon was captured in 1975, South Vietnam used a yellow flag with three red stripes. The red flag of North Vietnam became the flag of a united Vietnam when the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was formed in 1976.

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