Saturday, September 19, 2009

Chronicles of the Nolen's in Vietnam '08 Part 2

Friday was our first big "touring day." Clay, Parker and I went on a city tour from 8am-3pm. We viewed the Cathedral, the Post Office, the Lacquerware factory, the Chinese market, the Presidential Palace and the Chinatown temple. Busy, but fun! I bought postcards :) and took lots of pictures.

Pictures from Friday:
Ho Chi Minh City Post Office - it was very grand, with vintage maps on the side walls by the telephone booths. In the picture you can see the service side of it where people are doing business (the little desk area in the middle of the room was where I bought a lot of my postcards & such.)

The outside of the Post Office
Inside the cathedral downtown

Outside the cathedral (the cathedral & post office were right across the street from each other in the downtown Ho Chi Minh area)

A close-up view of the cathedral

This was taken at the Museum of Vietnamese history; each of the "periods"/sections represented in the museum had an explanation like this & displayed the sculptures & such to marvel over. I realized quickly that I wouldn't remember any of it unless I took pictures of each of the Periods, I can print out each of the pictures of the descriptions & they will form one big story in my album.

The 8 periods of Vietnamese History:
1. The primitive Period
2. The Hung Kings Period
3. The Period of the Struggling for National Independence
4. Mummy at Xom Cai
5. The Ly Dynasty
6. The Tran Dynasty
7. The Le Dynasty
8. The Tay Son Dynasty

(hey, you never know....if you're on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" & they ask you this question, you can split the proceeds with me when you get it right! :))

The outside of the Museum of Vietnamese History

This museum was really neat because it not only gave you an entire overview of its history, but also exhibited many ancient art pieces, natural history from the first human vestiges, & important statues (of their culture)

The lacquere ware manufacturing building...this is one of the biggest things Vietnam is known for producing.

We actually went on a tour that showed the process of creating lacqere ware from start to finish. It was amazing watching the artists so diligently & meticulously work with their hands to create these masterpieces.

After going through the several different sections inside, we were then transferred to the "store," which was this huge warehouse of nothing but lacqere ware. Bold dining room pieces, lamps, picture frames, vases, bedroom suites, & of the course the most popular to tourists, the lacqere ware art pieces. Clay & I chose a simple 5x7 black piece that portrayed 2 Vietnamese women in their white Ao D'ai (their standard garment).

The Chinatown temple

The temple itself was very ornate & fascinating to view, but for Clay & me, it was sad watching the people worship these idols. This is classic to their culture though...

Next, we were on to the Chinese market...busy, busy, busy place!

Long, flowing fabrics...

Food, food everywhere!


This Marketplace boasted everything from food (nuts, vegetables, candy, spices, etc.) to hats, shoes, fabrics & toys. It was neat to see the people working at their some, you even saw pillows & a blanket where they would take naps during the day...since their work days consist of 12 hr days!!

For our final tour of the day, we visited the Presidential Palace (this was the historical site of where the North Vietnamese/Communists sent their tanks through to take over the South Vietnamese)
Ok, so did anyone else forget that from Jr. High?! When I asked Clay what this building was (I had to get help on this one), he looked at me totally shocked & said, "This was one of the key historical landmarks from our whole trip! Do you also not remember learning about the takeover of the South Vietnamese from like the 6th grade till like 12th grade?!"
My response: "Well no, I have a short-term memory which is why I choose & need to scrapbook everything!" Good response Carrie; I patted myself on the back for that one :)
Clay really enjoyed this tour though & getting to hear the old government stories, seeing the old war tanks & helicopters & viewing all the rooms in the palace & the history behind them!
And that wraps up another fabulous day...
After a jam-packed day of learning & fun memories made, it was early to bed on Friday night...

SHOPPING! Dinner out at a local restaurant.

Church at a friend's house, lunch at a local restaurant...time at home with family. Nice relaxing day!

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