Day 9: Ho Chi Minh


Ryder and I don’t have a flight until 4:30 pm, so we hit up “one of the most unusual museums in the world”  -the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi- according to GlobeMaster (wikitravel offline) and see Ho Chi Minh’s vision and learn about the Vietnamese War (or as they call it, the American War.) It is unusual because the way the information is displayed is so random, er, creative.


The mausoleum, where his body is embalmed despite his stated desire for cremation, is closed already, but Ryder gets plenty of attention from the tourists outside it, who all want to take pictures with him.

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This man is revered in Hanoi as Uncle, the one who stood up to US imperialism and tried to create an independent, united, Communist state.


Ho Chi Minh: A statue and a pair of his glasses

I get a prolonged scolding from a man in Vietnamese due to Ryder running away from me inside the museum. It is always interesting to be scolded in another language. I used to be so feisty if I got scolded for something. Somehow, after having a kid, I have become much more apologetic. I meekly agree with whatever it is he is saying. We go back to the hotel and wait for our private car to take us to the airport.


A storefront pet

I decided to go that route to save me some stress, but that failed, because upon nearly arriving the airport I suddenly have a flashback memory. Two men had helped me carry my belongings out to the car. My red backpack was not in the memory. We pull over on the freeway, check in the trunk. Not there. My taxi driver does not speak English. After many phone calls later with the hotel, it is arranged for the hotel manager to bring the rogue backpack by motorbike. I still manage to check in on time-only having to wait 30-45 minutes for my bag.


The hotel manager, who over the past few days has grown to like Ryder a lot, wants a picture. “See you in 15 years when you’re grown up,” he says to him.


Trying to cajole Ryder to walk the length of the airport while my hands are full

This airline, Vietjet, is no Vietnam Airlines-but only cost $100 for two tickets and checked luggage.  The girl I sit with on the plane becomes my Facebook friend and we agree we will meet up if I ever return to Hanoi. She gives Ryder a bar of chocolate; I send for her son a small picture book.

I paid for a driver to await us at the airport; so it is smooth sailing to get to our hotel. Ryder is thrilled, seeing ghosts and monster cars out the window everywhere. I see a very different city than Hanoi; one very westernized and American feeling. It is a massive city with a lot of stop and go traffic and it takes ages to finally arrive at the hotel. Ryder goes to sleep wanting to hold the candy he’d been given at the Hanoi hotel.


Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 369 awesome articles for us.

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