This recreation of a traditional tomb was surrounded by fertility statues. Taken at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi.
This is my one of my current computer wallpapers [full size is here if anyone wants it]. Taken at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi.
These are the kids from the Literature Temple in Hanoi. As you can see, there are a great many of them. Now picture me, pressed into a corner surrounded by the whole giggling group, and you will get a better picture of my Literature Temply Experience.
In all honestly, they were super cute and funny, but it was pretty overwhelming to be unexpectedly surrounded by a whole group of children and interrogated about my name, home town, and career. I’m still a little puzzled about why I was so much more interesting than Miles & Leanne seemed to be, but I doubt I will ever know.
Also pictured is one of the kids rubbing the head of one of the Tortoise statues at the temple. Tortoises are one of four sacred creatures in Vietnam, and they symbolize longevity. I was told that it is very good luck to rub their heads, as it is something of a prayer/wish for long life.
This shot was taken at one of the assembly halls in Hoi An. The assembly halls were built by the Chinese during the old silk trading days, and the Chinese influence was noticeable in architecture and styling. There were altars and incense bowls all over, and I was the only person in the hall so I had free reign of the place.
After visiting the Crazy House we headed up to the Summer Palace of King Dao. The palace is a gorgeous Art Deco building and is probably the coolest palace/historical buiding I have ever visited, not just because I loved the 1930s feel, but also because it was mostly empty of people during the visit, and instead of those pesky velvet ropes keeping you in the halways and out of the rooms, you could enter every room in the house.
These two photos are from the throne room. They have it set up so that you can dress up in fancy outfits, and sit in the chair posing as the Queen for a photo. When I wandered into the room the guy manning the room asked me if I wanted to do it, except he only said “Queen?” which caused me to say “what?” and after repeating ourselves severl more times, he pointed to a wall of photos of tourists impersonating royalty and said “Queen?” to which I said a very quick “no!” and probably looked vaguely horrified because he definitely got a laugh out of it.
The strangest thing was definitely the rows of worn yellow boots that they had for you to wear for the photos. No thank you!
You can view the whole slideshow from the summer palace here: