Bill and Sue-On Hillman: A 50-Year Musical Odyssey
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HILLMAN INDOCHINA ADVENTURE
PART 3

www.hillmanweb.com/indochina/vietnam

PAGE 4:
HO CHI MINH'S STILT HOUSE
http://www.hillmanweb.com/indochina/vietnam/v04.html
 

The most famous attraction in the complex behind the Presidential Palace is Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House, an integral part of the "Uncle Ho" legend. The stilt house's design is based on traditional dwellings similar to the ones in which Ho took refuge during his revolutionary activities against the French. He lived here between May 1958 and August 1969. There are only two small rooms in the upper level of the stilt house, a dining room and bedroom and they are supposedly just as he left them - complete with all his personal effects, including his pith helmet. The deck under the house was used by Ho as an office and receiving area for important guests. There are no toilets, washing, cooking or dining facilities as Ho preferred to walk to a nearby annex building. 

Our next stop was the One Pillar Pagoda -- a little building on a single large pillar in the middle of a small pond. 

 We moved on to explore the numerous other buildings, gift shops, eateries and gardens in the compound. There were numerous small elaborate pagodas where visitors had left offerings. Along the way Bill was stopped by a young man, who for some reason wanted to take a selfie photo with him - it must have been Bill's Tarzan shirt that drew his attention :)

We considered making a departure from our original schedule and taking a taxi to the infamous Hoa Lo Prison (The Hanoi Hilton) that had been built by the French at the turn of the 20th century, in classical French prison design. The prison was also sarcastically known as the "Hanoi Hilton" during the Vietnam War when it held downed American pilot POWs. American politician and former US fighter pilot, John McCain, had been imprisoned here for many years. A number of people discouraged us saying it wasn't really worth the visit since most of the prison had been torn down and what was left was a propaganda-skewed museum in the original gatehouse. We had a busy day ahead of us with other commitments so we decided to pass on the visit. An American friend we met on the tour, however, was a Vietnam War vet and made the visit. He returned with a photo of himself sitting on a cot in one of the cells -- a cot that was supposedly the one used by McCain.

A taxi delivered us back to the hotel for a rest and meal. We did a bit of Old Quarter shopping and then prepared to make the trek to the Water Puppet Theatre. 


Past Uncle Ho's Fish Pond to Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House


The Lower Level


The Two Upper Rooms


View from the Stilt House


Shops and Eateries


A Small Portion of the Botanical Gardens


Bill and Fan who had requested a Selfie


Stairway to the One Pillar Pagoda ~ View from the Pagoda Deck


Visiting some of the other Pagodas and admiring their eleborate decoration and offerings


Leaving the Palace Grounds and returning to the Mausoleum and Exit


Taxi Time ~ Back into the Hanoi Traffic


PHOTOS FROM WEB SOURCES
 Sen. John McCain Returns to Hanoi Hilton
McCain's Flight Suit and Parachute in the Museum
John McCain returns to Hanoi HiltonMcCain Flight Suit and Parachute in Hanoi Hilton display

MORE VIETNAM IV PHOTOS IN THE
OUTTAKES  SECTION

TO MAIN INDOCHINA PAGE

TO VIETNAM CONTENTS

Copyright 2015
Bill and Sue-On Hillman
hillmans@wcgwave.ca