Brent and I are just in the process of looking over the courtyard to the entrance of the National University.
We grab one more photo at the entrance to the University.
We leave the grounds and start walking back to our hotel. You can see that the University is completely enclosed by stone walls. We must have looked like we knew what we were doing since we were stopped by other tourists looking for a way in to the University.
Scooter transporst is really the way the majority of people get around in Hanoi. Don’t forget. Don’t show any fear.
Here is an interior shot of the mall I had described earlier. There are numerous car dealerships inside. The pockets of wealth are amazing considering the poverty you see everywhere else.
Brent and I continued our tour of the National Museum in Hanoi. Some of the ancient texts are shown below.
The courtyard holds displays of various graduates. The Plaque show below describes how they retained the dedication steles of some of the oldest graduates. These were erected on turtles. One of the four holy creatures.
The Dragon was a great attraction. I attempted to find out a bit mroe about the urn. But you can see the dragon relief on top of the building in the background. The dragon is one of the countries four holy creatures.
As we continued our tour of Hanoi at the Quoc Tu Giam National University, we stopped to view some of the impressive Bonsai plants.
You can see that the plants are arranged in an island format. Each one seemed to suggest a different story
Here we are at the National University, Quoc Tu Giam. Established in 1076. The Temple of Literature refers to the Temple of Confucius. Very serene.
The plaque describes some of the activities. Second photo is one of the Khue Van Pavilion leading to the second courtyard.
My friend is in front of the Third Courtyard of the temple with the Thien Quang well.
Turtle Steles lists names of graduates.
Our bike journey finally starts in Hanoi. We get there a few days early in order to take in the sites. We are bascially in old Hanoi. As you can see, from the rooms, they treat their vistors quite well. The beds were nicely adorned.
The first night we wander over to Hoam Kiem Lake. Lake of the Returned Sword. The lake is one of the major scenic spots and serves as a focal point for social life.
The statue of Ly Thai To is beside the lake and wasthe founder of the Later Ly Dynasty in Vietnam and reigned from 1009 to 1028.
The walking path goes around the entire lake and is a great way to see the night life in the city.
We spent a bit of time in downtown Bangkok before heading to Hanoi. We stopped at Siam Paragon. The “Pride of Bangkok”. The stores were incredible. They had Bentley and Ducati dealerships on the second floor. The finer vehicles were on the 3rd and 4th.
The nature of the sculpture escaped me. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.
Brent and I stayed at the Ariyasomvilla, a small lovely hotel near the heart of Bangkok but close to the public transport system.
We used the kind offer of the airport pickup. The drive up to the hotel can give you some misgivings. Very small mechanic garages surround the area. The garages are a wonder to behold since they are the size of single car garages and simply loaded with old parts for something. All the mechanics I saw simply sat on their hunches and worked on small engine parts. If there was any grinding going on, no gloves, no glasses, no concerns.
Plants and trees surrounded the small hotel so basically you were in your own separate world. Breakfast, the first photo, was always a wonder of treats you would not normally see in any North American hotel. We always sat beside the pool since the waterfall was right there.
The trees were very knotted and wonderous. Needless to say, there were orchids everywhere.
The weather co-operated perfectly.
Here we are in Wat Pho. Behind me you can see the reclining Buddha. This facial style is quite feminine. At 46 meters long and 15 meters tall, it is covered in gold leaf. The entire structure occupies the entire building.
Covered shoulders and no skin above the knee are required. I used my Mountain Equipment pants that can be zipped off to convert to shorts.
I felt a bit self-conscious with my selfie stick taking a photo. Especially with Buddha looking particularly serene behind me.
The feet are 5 meters and covered in laksansas. The 108 movements and actions leading to perfection. After touring, my feet look the same, but I don’t get the same interpretation.
Here we have a few more temple guardians in Bangkok.
This is an even larger version of Yaksha, a fierce but benevolent nature spirit. He is charged with taking care of precious things.
This is another version of their stylized lion, called shishi in China, which are thought to have magical powers to repel evil spirts.
Bangkok’s many temples incorporate the mandatory guardians.
They have stylized lions, called shishi in China, which are thought to have magical powers to repel evil spirts.
Yaksha, a fierce but benevolent nature spirit introduced to Buddhism from Hinduism. He is charged with taking care of precious things.
We encountered a few other guardians which I will cover off next time. The decorations were amazing.