Comments regarding Angkor Wat and....Ho Chi Minh Memorial in Hanoi...Photos and more...


Can you even imagine safely navigating these steps at Angkor Wat?  (Not our photo)
It was impossible for me not to feel badly about missing Angkor Wat, one of the most revered temple sites in the world.  It would have been foolhardy to risk any further injury, we stayed behind.  We watched a special presentation on the describing the unbelievable site and its enchanting history.

It was very hot and uncomfortable on the long walk to and around this site, The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. 
 
If you're interested in information about Angkor Wat, please click here.  The historic site is rich in history and content attracting visitors from many parts of the world, anxious to see it in person and tackle its massive stairway.

Kong, our knowledgeable Viking Cruise guide, explained that visitors climb the step and cry when they can't figure out how to climb down. The above photo clearly shows how tough that would be. Also, a several mile walk is necessary to get close enough for good photos, which I was unable to do based on my current condition.


The Presidential Palace on the ground of the Ho Chi Minh Memorial Park.
The many tours in Vietnam with hours of walking with many steps threw me into a tailspin back to where I'd been in the recovery process a few weeks ago. In Singapore, most days I lay flat on my back in our hotel room taking hot baths three times a day hoping for a little relief.


Gorgeous grounds and fountains in the surrounding parklands.
As
 my situation improves once again, its no longer necessary to be lying down and we're able to stay out of the hotel room as we are at the moment, sitting in a luxurious bar in the Hotel Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort in Siem Reap, Cambodia. 


Fortunately, a portion of the long hike was on smooth roads such as this.  The heat was at 98F, 37C with 80% humidity.
The only way I've been able to make some headway in this recovery has been keeping the walking and steps as indicated on my FitBit under about 4000 steps a day.  That would have been impossible on any of the tours of the past two days.



Jack fruit grow prolifically in the park.

Although Ho Chi Minh is revered as a modest man with little desire for opulence, he owned these cars, one of which was bulletproof.
Instead, we joined our group again last night for the second dinner in Cambodia and will do so again tonight for our third and final dinner together until checking out of the hotel tomorrow for a five hour bus ride through the countryside to the river boat docked in Kampong Cham, via the provincial capital of Kampong Thom. 

A glass partition prevented a clear photo of the interior of Ho Chi Minh's first home on the property.
Ho Chi Minh never had children or married.  As a result, he was referred to as Uncle Ho.  From History Channel: "Ho Chi Minh first emerged as an outspoken voice for Vietnamese independence while living as a young man in France during World War I. Inspired by the Bolshevik Revolution, he joined the Communist Party and traveled to the Soviet Union. He helped found the Indochinese Communist Party in 1930 and the League for the Independence of Vietnam, or Viet Minh, in 1941. At World War II’s end, Viet Minh forces seized the northern Vietnamese city of Hanoi and declared a Democratic State of Vietnam (or North Vietnam) with Ho as president. Known as “Uncle Ho,” he would serve in that position for the next 25 years, becoming a symbol of Vietnam’s struggle for unification during a long and costly conflict with the strongly anti-Communist regime in South Vietnam and its powerful ally, the United States."
Barring any unforeseen delays, its expected we'll arrive at the boat on the Mekong River at 4:30 pm to begin the actual cruise portion of the cruise/tour.  With such a small group, boarding should be as fast and easy as other processes have been on this cruise thus far.  
Peaceful lake scene in the center of the park.
Once boarded and settled in our cabin, we'll continue to travel through Cambodia for a few more days.  Its during this time we'll have an opportunity to share the beauty of the small villages and points of interest as we travel along the Mekong River and eventually the Mekong Delta.


Although it was a Saturday, it wasn't overly crowded at the park.
Although we'll have missed out on a few temple tours, we're no longer disappointed.  How else would we have weathered this unanticipated injury to my spine?  We had no where to stay for two months while I healed nor were we ever able to find a heating pad.  We made the best of it.  
This newer house was built for Ho Chi Minh by his beloved people, referred to as "Khmer" and completed on May 17, 1958.


The house stands today as it was built including the furnishing, a contemporary Asian influenced architectural style.  It isn't a huge house but is well built and functional.
And, for Tom and I, the patience and compassion we have for one another has kept the situation from ever feeling like a burden or inconvenience.  Wherever we find ourselves our love and fortitude drives us to continue this exquisite journey that we pray can continue for many years to come.

We all walked on this footbridge over a Koi pond.



Roots grow like weeds in many areas of Vietnam.
At the end of this month, we'll reach our 45th month since the day Tom retired and we left Minnesota on October 31, 2012.  At this juncture that seems like it was a "world away."



This is referred to as "One Pillar Pagoda" as described from this site: The One Pillar Pagoda (Vietnamese:Chùa Một Cột, formally Diên Hựu tự  , which litterally means “long lasting happiness and good luck”) is a historic Buddhist temple in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. As you visit Hanoi, you may come to various other monuments, parks and historical places. Yet, the One-Pillar Pagoda reflects the architectural splendour that the country has grown.

Where is it located? The unique pagoda is located in the western part of the city, near Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Ong Ich Khiem St., Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi. The Legendary story: According to legend, ageing Emperor Ly Thai To of the Ly dynasty, who had no children, used to go to pagodas to pray to Buddha for a son. One night, he dreamt that he was granted a private audience to the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who was seated on a great lotus flower in a square-shaped lotus pond on the western side of Thang Long Citadel, gave the King a baby boy. Months later, when the Queen gave birth to a male child, the Emperor ordered the construction of a pagoda supported by only one pillar to resemble the lotus seat of his dream in the honour of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. According to a theory, the pagoda was built in a style of a lotus emerging out of the water."
 
Be w
ell and be happy.
______________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, July 12, 2015:
We fell in love with pelicans for their beauty, grace and movement in Trinity Beach, Australia.  For more details, please click here.

2 comments:

Thomas Lyman said...

1919 Ho Chi Minh & Woodrow Wilson
http://www.shmoop.com/vietnam-war/summary.html

Jessica said...

Thanks for your input, Honey! Its good to see you commenting!

Love,
Jess

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