Monday, August 08, 2011

Viet trip, part 2

Impressive stone carvings at the temple court yard.
The next day, right after breakfast, we went on a HCMC tour whereby we went to Tien Hau tample in Cholon, built and rebuilt since 940 A.D. Its surprising to see that its still standing to this despite the war here. The wood carvings on its entrance and courtyard is really impressive!  We managed to do some prayers while we're there. :)
There's more stalls and tiny aisle once you go in...
Look at the "mountains" of dried prawns!!! But why are they so PINK?

A short visit to the Ben Thant market was next. Why short? Coz there wasn't enough time for me to go fabric shopping! LOL! The stalls were so tightly packet that its virtually IMPOSSIBLE to pass if we were to walk side by side! Fabrics and other items that were sold were PACKED vertically and did I mentioned that most of them looks like its going to topple over if one were to touch them? Was a hot and stuffy as it is, but there were so many people around. The place one could get a breather was either at the ground floor where food and jewellery were sold OR at the locally produced souvenir section. 
"Implating" them egg shells is hard work.

Worker sawing thru the mother of pearl

Just some of their products. There are more cramp into the next room!!
Then its off to the lacquer factory and shop. Honestly I've never got to know how lacquer good were made. So this was a chance to find out. It takes so many work and days for the primary lacquer to set. And not to mention the second procedure where one paints on it or set it with egg shells for a particular design. And then its another process of making the item shine. Those craftsman are really talented. And hubs being so impressed, bought 3 miniature paintings.
Me, happy to arrive here nevertheless
The visit at the War Museum saw a sad one for me. After seeing photos of dead children, I had to stop and get out of the room. Its just so sad and even now hearing about war and recent horrific crime, I'm thinking how can one human do that to another human being? Its just pure EVIL!! But still managed to take some photos of tanks outside the museum.
Hubs thinking of what to order! ;)

Replica tanks on the grounds
View of the main street from the Palace top floor.

Needless to say, my appetite for Huê province food ( a region in central Vietnam) at this restaurant. I did however managed to taste some delicacies wrapped in banana leaves. It was delicious although I've completely forgotten the name! LOL!
Part of the basement; look at the type writers!
We when make our move towards the Reunification palace. Looks as if it was frozen in time. There's 2 replica war tanks just on the gates of the palace. The tanks crash onto the place on 30th April 1975 and it ended the war. The recreation room was really late 1960s looking. And the basement. OMG! It looks eerie with the telephones, telegrams and other machines still looking in perfect working condition!

After having some photos taken on the grounds of the palace, it was the national post office building stop. This building was opposite the Cathedral of Notre Dame, which incidentally looks like the one in Paris! Only smaller... hehehehehe...
Hubs: we'll be back next time for sure!! :)

Soon after the tour and being dropped off at our hotel, we decided to go out on our own since it was rather early to meet up with hub's uncle for dinner. We went for a coffee at this Trung Nguyen coffee chain about 15 minutes walk from the hotel. As I don't really drink coffee, theirs are like a kick to my system! LOL! I couldn't sleep still late that night! And all I had was coffee with milk.... :p

As our plane are only leaving at 4pm, we decide to walk towards the HCMC Fine Art Museum. They were showing paintings and drawings of kids at the ground floor, contemporary art from local and international artist on 2nd floor and 3rd floor holds the museum's permanent collection. BUT at the basement, there's local artists galleries. Hubs ALMOST wanted to purchase one but I told him, how are we going to transport it back even in an art tube? That brought him back to earth. We only have hand carry with us this time. Perhaps next time when we have checked luggage as I think we'll go back there for sure the next time we return home.

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