From buzzing Old Quarter to High mountains

I read the news paper, watch the news on tv, but there is not much happening. The most interesting that has happened this week, from a constitutional point of view, is in America.  The Federal judiciary of the United States could hamper one of the decisions made by Donald Trump. In one way I think that is good that there is a balance, but, on the other hand, he was elected as President of United States. Maybe it is good that he has to rethink, and, most importantly, rephrase his intentions, but democracy must rule.

I am so happy that I can write about my voyage to Vietnam and Sri Lanka. I liked my stay in Hanoi very much so I still have a little to write.  When I asked what I should visit the “Maison Centrale” (Hoa Lo Prison) was very important.  French administration has been in Vietnam, in the 17th century, and many political prisoners have stayed there. During the Vietnam war it was important and nicknamed as Hanoi Hilton. Most of the prison complex was destroyed in 1997 to make way for Hanoi Towers buildings.

Before I went to Vietnam I had decided to go to the mountains. To Sapa. Northern Vietnam. I was introduced to Sapa at the Ethnology museum in Hanoi. There are 54 ethnical groups living in Vietnam, some in the mountains. I like mountains a lot so I really wanted to go there. I also wanted to see the paddy fields with the cute buffaloes. To see how terraced rice fields are grown and harvested. I went on an organized tour, and early in the morning, waiting for the bus in Hanoi, I went to beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake. Every morning people gather around the lake and start the day with Tao Chi. I liked it. Makes you relax.

It was rather cold in Sapa, and thereby no mosquitos. I was lucky since there was no rain, then I don´t think I would´t have been able to do trekking. Craggy canyons. Too slippery. The local minority people were very friendly. One of the women spoke very good English. I asked where she had studied, and she told me that she had learnt just by talking to tourists. She had never been to school and she supported her children by selling handicrafts to tourists. However, there were schools, so life is changing. When the French ruled, they built Hydraulic Power Stations that still reflected life at the foot of Fansipan Peak, the home of Black H´mong people. Scenic waterfall views.

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