We had a notion that Japan was going to be a bit, shall we say, inscrutable. And we were right. There’s something about not having an alphabet so foreigners can … Read more
I know now that my assumptions were wrong. I was thinking of Japan as a leader in high tech industry, as a center of fashion, as an international power, and … Read more
For some reason the first day of the national Sumo Wrestling tournament in Tokyo reminded me a bit of bullfighting in Spain. There’s a lot of traditional pomp, a lot … Read more
Flag flying war memorials litter the center of Ho Chi Minh City, which is what the Vietnamese renamed Saigon after the American War. Most of these memorials feature captured American war materiel, such as intact helicopters, jet fighters, tanks and artillery pieces. You’ll run across them in parks, in the front yards of the aforementioned government buildings, and, of course, at the war museum sites.
The most visited tourist site in the city is the War Remnants Museum. The Museum used to be called the Museum of American War Atrocities.
The Citadel, built by the Vietnamese emperors in the early 19th Century, was severely damaged in Vietnam’s two wars of the 20th Century. In 1947 against the French, and again in 1968 against the Americans, the center of Hue was the site of ferocious battles. The citadel area once held over 140 buildings. Only about 20 remain after extensive restoration since the 1990s. Most buildings were completely destroyed in the fighting and cannot be restored.