Posts tagged ‘Asia’

January 4, 2022

Curiosities of Ho Chi Minh City!!

I was browsing what to write in my blog, and got a call from one of my friends in Vietnam. This led to look into my Ho Chi Minh City picture vault and found a couple not in my blog. Therefore, here are some curiosities of Ho Chi Minh City, a hotel and a museum! Hope you enjoy it as I.

This was my first ever hotel in 2012, and just one time! Memories lingered forever. And of course, was my first hotel so cannot find direct pictures of it just from it yikes!!!

Hotel Grand Silverland, in district 1 ,right in the middle by the great famous market of Ben Thanh. This is as a classic hotel as you can find, old look, and modern facilities throughtout, with a great breakfast,and easy walking to the market, muséums,and lively street life of the city.  It has a wonderful rooftop pool and resto with fabulous views of Saigon (now HCMC).  Pic below  looking from my room to corner going to Ben Thanh market!

hcmc looking out window grand silverland hotel nov12

As said, it is only a 2 minute walk to the bustling Bến Thành Market and 1 km from the War Remnants Museum and an 8-minute walk from the Reunification palace.(see post on all).  Also, 400 meters from the Mariamman Temple. The hotel ,also includes mini-golf, a gym, and a spa with sauna and massage services. However, the best for me was the roofstop pool and restaurant!

I really enjoy it but I guess was done to impress me as later I had to use other hotels just as nice thus (see post), It will be my memorable moment walking to Ben Thanh market at night !! The Hotel Grand Silverland webpage: https://www.silverlandhotels.com/grand-silverland-hotel-spa.html

I passed several times here and did get into the gardens, only one passing picture as souvenir but a wonderful memory and great friends. The Gia Long Palace , now officially the Ho Chi Minh City Museum is situated at the corner of Lý Tự Trọng and Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa streets, located on 2 hectares of land, near the Independence Palace. It was established in 1975, and this museum is full of interesting pieces of Vietnamese history and culture, such as ceramics, old maps of the city and displays of traditional marriages between ethnic minorities. The garden outside is popular for wedding photographs or as a break for tired tourists like me!

hcmc Ho Chi Minh City Museum former Gia Long Palace nov12

A bit of history I like , is really ups and downs !

The construction of the palace began in 1885 and completed in 1890, and was designed to house the Museum of Commercial Trade, exhibiting products and goods of Southern Vietnam. However, the building soon became the residence of the Governor of Cochinchina (historical area of south Vietnam including the Mekong Delta and the south east).   In 1945, control of the palace changed hands several times. After the Japanese Imperial Army toppled the colonial regime of French Indochina on March 9 1945 ,the palace became the residence for Japanese Governor , On August 14, 1945 the Japanese handed over the palace to its puppet Empire of Vietnam government , After, the building became the headquarters of the Provisional Administrative Committee of Southern Vietnam, later renamed the People’s Committee of Southern Vietnam. On September 10, 1945 Lt. Col. B. W. Roe (from the British military mission) occupied the palace and made it the Allied Mission headquarters, evicting the People’s Committee. On October 5, 1945 the building was used by General Leclerc as the temporary headquarters of the High Commission for the French Republic in Indochina ; the palace was used as Leclerc’s office, this time as the official headquarters of the Commissioner of the French Republic in Southern Vietnam.

After the French reconquest of Indochina, on June 2, 1948 the French government handed over the building to the Provisional Government of the State of Vietnam, establishing its headquarters there. It was later transformed into the Palace of the Premier, serving as official residence of the Premier of the State of Vietnam. From June 26 to September 7, 1954, this palace was used as the temporary official residence of the Prime Minister, French High Commissioner. Bảo Đại renamed the palace to Gia Long Palace, and its street was renamed Gia Long Street. This was also the last residence of President of the Republic of Vietnam, The Supreme Court of the Republic of Vietnam was housed in the Palace, from October 31, 1966 to April 30, 1975, the Fall of Saigon.  On 12 August 1978 the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee ordered that the former Supreme Court be used as the Ho Chi Minh City Revolutionary Museum , later renamed to its current name of the Ho Chi Ming City Museum on 13 December 1999.

A bit on the construction/architecture I like

The 2-floored palace building covers an area over 1700 m², using classical Baroque architecture with European and Oriental influences. The flooring, staircases and halls were European-styled, while the roof was Oriental-inspired. Surrounding the palace is a trapezoid-shaped flower garden, with 4 pathways. There were built three extremely deep tunnels leading from the palace to other parts of the city so that the President and important government officials/military figures could escape in the event of a coup. Which it came anyway ! The tunnels were 2.2 m high, with cast reinforced concrete . Walls were 1 m thick, with 6 iron vault doors for entry and exit. The tunnels had 2 downward stairs, leading to a basement with 6 rooms, which included conference rooms, offices, bathrooms, electrical rooms. The Presidential Office and Presidential Adviser’s Offices were equipped with battery banks for uninterruptible power supply, portable radios, RCA transceivers. There are two exit tunnels that run towards Le Thanh Ton Street as well as six ventilation holes and numerous sewage drainages. 

The oifficial Ho Chi Minh City museum : http://www.hcmc-museum.edu.vn/en-us/home-page.aspx

There you go folks, a dandy combo in a dandy city of Asia, Ho Chi Minh City, memories for a lifetime. Hope you enjoy the post as I, and worth the detour to visit these places.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,
December 31, 2021

Happy New Year, Bonne Année, Feliz Año Nuevo, Feliz Ano Novo 2022!!!

This is probably will be my shortest post but with the most intense desire in me. I like to thanks all my readers, followers, posters, well wishers during 2021 for their kind following of my blog.

Happy New Year, Bonne Année, Feliz Año Nuevo, Feliz Ano Novo 2022!!! Some traditions I Like

Happy New Year 2022

In Italy, Lentils in a New Year’s dish serve the same function as the black-eyed peas in Hoppin’ John, with their round shape representing coins. And in the Philippines, it’s customary to eat 12 round fruits, one for every month, to ensure a year of abundance. The fruits usually take center stage at the table for the media noche or middle night or the midnight meal.

And in the Philippines, revelers don’t just try to eat circles — partygoers wear them, too. Polka dots are all the rage on December 31, increasing the chances for a fortunate new year.

New York City’s Times Square to watch the ball drop since 1907. And while the first one was just iron and wood, today you can watch a 12-foot, 11,875-pound geodesic sphere covered in 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles and 32,256 LEDs make its descent, even from the warmth and comfort of your own home. Me saw it from 1974 to 1985!

Plymouth, Wisconsin hosts a Big Cheese Drop; Kennett Square, PA uses a giant mushroom, and New Orleans drops a fleur de lis (à la française).Brazil makes it easier too choose your New Year’s Eve outfit ,everyone wears white for good luck and peace. Also in Brazil, if you head to the beach, you can increase your luck by heading to the water and jumping over seven waves. You get one wish for each wave.

You might think that making resolutions for the new years is a relatively recent trend, historically speaking, but the tradition is very old, probably more than 4,000 years old, in fact. Historians believe Babylonians, one of the first cultures to actually celebrate the changing of the year made promises to pay debts or return borrowed objects. It’s a common superstition that opening the doors and windows will let the old year out, and the new year in unimpeded.

In Denmark, broken dishes are a good thing , people go around breaking dishware on the doorsteps of their friends and family.

Yes, exactly 12,one at each stroke of midnight. That’s what they do in Spain , pop one grape for every month of the New Year. If you fail to conscientiously finish your grapes by the time the clock stops chiming, you’ll face misfortune in the new year.

On New Year’s Eve, families in Greece hang bundles of onions above their doors as a means of inviting that prosperity into the home. It’s also said that, on New Year’s Day, parents wake up their children in the morning by gently bonking their kids on the head with the onions that were outside.

In Germany and Austria, there are a few different lucky symbols that you’d gift to friends and family to bring them good fortune. These include pigs, mushrooms, clovers and chimney sweeps.

Walloon and Flemish farmers in Belgium make sure everyone can get in on the festivities,  even the livestock. They rise early on January 1 to wish a “Happy New Year” to all the cows, horses, pigs, chickens and other farm animals. That way, they’ll have a good farming year.

Ireland’s most interesting tradition doesn’t involve eating. Instead, the Irish bang on the walls of their homes with Christmas bread. It’s said to chase any bad spirits out of the house to start the new year off with a clean slate.

In Colombia, people take empty suitcases and run around the block as fast as they can. It’s supposed to guarantee a year filled with travel.

In Japan, it’s traditional to eat “toshikoshi soba” a dish with long, buckwheat noodles that’s served hot or cold. The noodles symbolize longevity, and the hearty buckwheat plant represents resilience. In Japan, for ōmisoka, buddhist temple bells ring out 108 times as in the lead up to the new year. Each chime is supposed to root out a worldly passion, such as anger, suspicion or lust. The last toll comes at midnight.

In Turkey, pomegranates are symbols of abundance. Eating them is great, sure, but if you really want a good 2022, you’ll smash the fruit on your doorstep.

Singapore decorates its Singapore River with the wishing spheres containing the hopes and dreams of new year revelers.

In Ecuador, the bad parts of the old year or año viejo are turned into effigies and burned. People make sawdust-filled dummies out politicians, pop-culture figures and other characters, and then burn them at midnight as a sort of cleansing ritual. For extra good-luck points, participants try to jump over the flames 12 times, once for every month.

In Scotland, the Isle of Man and some other parts of Northern England, the “first footer,” as it was called, was extremely important. Tradition in those parts of the world states to select a man who is tall and dark (as a protection against Vikings), who would come with simple gifts of coal, salt, shortbread and whisky, representing the basic needs of heat, food and drink. Choosing wisely meant good luck for the upcoming year.

In my belle France we usually ring in the New Year with a huge feast, commonly know as le réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre. The meal is full of traditional, decadent eats, including foie gras, oysters, lobster and escargot. And, Champagne is the drink of choice.

This is for the memories the New Year’s celebration from the Château de Chantilly awesome!!! Also, to thank you again for your loyal following as 2021 gave my blog 48 629 views ,23 487 visitors, 26 980 likes, 839 comments, and did 1 215 posts! Thank you all!!!!

Chantilly castle entr new year 2022 dec21

Some of the traditions not all. Hoping they are alright, you let me know ok. I just know for sure France , Spain, and the New York USA. Again

Happy New Year, Bonne Année, Feliz Año Nuevo, Feliz Ano Novo 2022!!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

December 14, 2021

My former job in the Morbihan !!!!

Well, I worked in the beautiful Morbihan , Saint Nolff, near Vannes. It was a very nice job, in upper management, with plenty of travel opportunity as we have branches in 20 countries, and my job required a lot of travel. One of the hidden benefits of the job! Now as the time has come to go into anticipated retirement and leave the job nostalgia sets in; it was a wonderful job that I could have continue until I drop !

The people were/are very friendly and nice, and we were allowed to work pretty much independant, no time limits plenty of trust, I was next to Vannes in a quiet, small, cozy country heaven, a big change from my previous post near and in Paris. Yes a loving job if I can call it that. I live about 35 minutes from the job by car on the road N165 or can take a semi detour and come into the country road D19 or even better the D779 . Traffic is minimum, and it was super to drive from to work. They tell me that on snow days it is difficult, well I left and still no snow, the last one a just white covered ground was about 15 years ago ! Heat yes very hot days but with a breeze as we are not far from the ocean so even in the canicule we are the least impacted.

st-nolff-work-office-building-on-campus-sn-mar17

The job was on the park of an old castle originally built in 1504 ,now only the ruins of its walls remains, and the face of the manoir or mansion call Chateau, where the main administrative office is,and where I was ! It has several buildings inside the Chateau, housing the different departments or as it is call here Services; a beautiful long garden and forest area, and a cafeteria with hot meals serve daily with choices of menus. Sublime where coming to eat was like going home ! The place even had a tennis court , and then change to a football /soccer field ; then it was added a club house with baby foot, musculation gym and coffee rest area as well as plenty of parking. It has several other buildings all throughout the old castle park of 44 hectares!

st-nolff-chateau-building-office-from-back-parking-mar19

st-nolff-cafeteria-side-oct18

My trips were everyt month for several years taking me to Brazil,  Mexico, Cuba, South Africa, Uganda, Belize, Philippines,Indonesia, China, Singapore, Vietnam. Also, in Europe took off for the Czech Republic, Slovaquia, Poland, Russia, Romania, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, and Belgium. I will remember the trips and especially the friendship of many nations still in contact, I have some neutral pictures would include in this post for memories’s sake, I was able to go into small towns in these countries away from tourism and see the real country , get to know the real people, families and all. Even taken to their homes!!

Mexico Ciudad Obregon Sonora towards bay and shrimp farms oct12

Uganda jinya iginvest igor pedro arriving son fish nile river apr18

vietnam dak lak tho duong pedro tung others lake dec18

I had to go every month to the world HQ in Paris by Porte Maillot and do visit some of our supplier service companies all over Paris, which was an added bonus, all company paid as well !! Many of these trips included convention held in Paris usually at the Palais Brongniart ! As well as world conventions in different places in France such as Paris and Chantilly. These conventions also took me to Spain ! All wonderful words cannot describe the top class travel that I was doing, Some of my collegues even told me I was lucky as I never was refuse a trip by my boss the CFO /DAF or the President /PDG !! The associations that I was paid for it and allow to travel to events all over Europe and into Ft Lauderdale, FLa where was able to see family and dwell on my former home there was super!!!

Cadiz barcelo convention party me carlos carole etc oct15

Cadiz convention oct15 pedro patrick festa

As I dwell into these wonderful experiences I take it with sadness , already 5 months out ! I was told and heard of folks telling me how wonderful retirement was and how glad they made it ! Well I do not think so, I rather stay working and indulging in all these pleasures and human contacts ! To all those friends that I will show this post, thank you so much for your kindness , cooperation, and respect on these wonderful last 10 years !!!

st-nolffs-the-manoir-talhouet-to-chateau-office-at-work-apr18

The Bretagne region tourist office on the Morbihanhttps://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/departments/morbihan/

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office: https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/

The Bay of Quiberon tourist officehttps://www.baiedequiberon.bzh/quiberon

There you go folks, my last job, and very memorable indeed, Saint Nolff is in my blog in several posts on its sights and now my job, Talhouet was awesome ! Hope you enjoy the post as I do,, and to share the memories with me, At least will have more time to spent with my old Dad and 3 boys as well as our dog Rex, My beautiful Morbihan, lovely Bretagne and belle France! And not to forget my current hole on earth Pluvigner !

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

November 3, 2021

Ben Thanh Market of Ho Chi Minh City!

I am taking you back east all the way to Vietnam. I have visited the country several times in the last few years and always impressive with its recovery after the wars. My main city was Ho Chi Minh City or old Saigon; even if some locals still call it Saigon! Let me update this wonderful post on the Ben Thanh Market !! Hope you enjoy it as I.

hcmc-ben-thanh-market-going-mar16

I like to tell you about one particular spot that I got in by surprise walking from my hotel once, and then on another occassion came back to see it fully inside. This is the Ben Thanh Market, a must to visit. The Ben Thanh market or Ho Chi Minh Market,  or Saigon market , whose Vietnamese name is Cho Ben Thanh is the best tourist shopping destination in Ho Chi Minh City. This tourist spot is located in the heart of the city, in District 1 of the city, more precisely the Ben Thanh market  is located at the end of a commercial street call Le Loi, and at the beginning of the Le Lai street.

hcmc-ben-thanh-market-arrviing-mar16

This building, which covers an area of more than 13 000 m 2, is made of cream-painted concrete with red roofs. Rectangular in shape, has 4 entrance doors or access inside the building, each door is equipped with an animal as a symbol of this entry, for example at the door of the animal is a cow. The highlight of the main façade is the huge clock housed in the middle of the front door turret. Cho Ben Thanh Market was built in 1914 by the French in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh). Although the building is relatively modern market, the inhabitants of the city and traded near the river since the 17C.

hcmc-ben-thanh-market-cua-tay-side-mar16

On the market you can find clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry, equipment, pet shops, crafts, flowers, spices, nuts, food and restaurants . If you can’t find what you want inside the Ben Thanh market, you won’t be able to find it in Ho Chi Minh city!,so is the claim.

hcmc-ben-thanh-market-aisles-2-mar16

As a rule, prices are not fixed and will need to be haggle, or as traders say, apply a discount (except for restaurants). During the day, traders and stands  inside the market building, but in the evening , after 18h, the market closes to make room for the so-called Ben Thanh Night Market. A part of the traders mounted their stalls and shelves outside the Ben Thanh Market and all the restaurants and food stalls, without exception, continue its activity at the gates of Cho Ben Thanh Market.

hcmc-ben-thanh-market-aisles-to-cua-side-mar16

The market opens its doors in the early hours of the morning and closes in the evening at 18h.  It is open every day of the week ,Monday to Sunday, whether it is a holiday, only during the Lunar New Year (Tết) and holidays, some stores can be closed. From 18h until midnight, outside the market, it continues the night market as above mentioned.

The official Ben Thanh Market of HCMChttps://www.ben-thanh-market.com/

The private Vietnam Guide on Ben Thanh Markethttp://www.vietnam-guide.com/ho-chi-minh-city/ben-thanh-market.htm

There you go folks,always busy but so many wonders inside to bring home as souvenirs from Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon. Hope you enjoy the post on Ben Thanh Market, and do visit while in town!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,
October 29, 2021

The good times ,and sights of the Philippines!

I will remind myself of the good night time in the Philippines, and update this older post, I made several trips to the country the last few years, 6 times to be exact from 2014 to November 2018, all memorable with many friends. This post will be on fun and sights of the Philippines, Do see my other posts and hope you enjoy them as I.

At Cebu, (Mandaue city) we went to the Jump Shot Sports Bar, a rather rocking place with a terrace overlooking the main street. Plenty of cheers good beers and friendly company. We had great fun here and came back couple times more to the Jump Shot Sports Bar. Recommended. Yelp reviews webpage: https://en.yelp.com.ph/biz/jump-shot-sports-bar-mandaue-city

cebu-jumpstart-sports-bar-terrace-nov18

Then,over in Manila we went to the Road House Manila Bay,and it was rocking live with a good band and friendly nice service. The band was Spank Me Regor and was again very good indeed worth going back for them, very nice vocals music from the 80’s! The Yelp reviews webpage: https://en.yelp.com.ph/biz/the-roadhouse-manila-bay-pasay?osq=road+house

manila-road-house-manila-bay-bar-live-music-nov18

manila-road-house-manila-bay-bar-playing-nov18

We were there by the harbor in Manila, so there was a nice big wheel that remainded me of the one in Paris place de la Concorde.

manila-big-wheel-by-seaside-blvd-nov18

I went up to Lemery in Isabela province (Luzon) for breathtaking views of Twin Lakes.

lemery-enter-complex-twin-lakes-passing-nov18

lemery-twin-lakes-passing-nov18

While passing by the nice fruit market of Tagaytay, province of Cavite ,about 59 km from Manila.

tagaytay

All on the road warrior ways ,I like and nice memories of the Philippines. As said, many other visits there and been to several islands, great memories, great friends and many souvenirs. Do not know when back but if long the memories will lingered forever. Thanks Philippines.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

September 30, 2021

The battlefields in France of WWI or Great War.

Here is something I gave credit in my blog a while back, and its time to update text and links and carry it on in my black and white series, no pictures. This is one of those posts that pictures are not needed me think. I like to pay tribute to all those who gave it all for me and my children and freedom in our world. This is my humble hommage to them with some of the battlefields in France of WWI or the Great War as its call here in my belle France. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Dates come and go and come and we sometimes find no time to write about certain dear things to us. This is the case of the efffort of many for a free Europe/World. I am particularly thankful to the Americans ,which I am and French. I like to pay tribute to those who fought and or died for our freedom from all Nations in this humble post. I have visited these places one time or another.

I married a patriotic French women from the Battlefields of the Marne, Monument Americain or American Monument on the Route de Varennes near Meaux, today , there is a wonderful WWI museum there that you all should visit.  Museum of the Great War,see post, Webpage : https://www.museedelagrandeguerre.com/en.html

The Battle of the Somme in WWI was a huge battlefront of 750 kms (about 465 miles) including two periods. Since September 1914 the course to the sea around the monuments of Ovilliers, Guillemont, and Flers. And then a north south line along the villages of Beaumont-Hamel, Thiepval, La Boisselle, Fricourt, Maricourt, Curlu, Dompierre, Fay, Chaulnes, and Maucourt. It then , came again in June 1916 in the second Battle of the Somme, from Beaumont-Hamel and Bapaume to the north to Chilly,Chaulnes to the south; here the British and French fought side by side until a line at Maricourt. The battle involves about a million men and 200 000 horses as the official encounter began on June 24.  By July 2nd the losses were big already 58K men of which 22K killed especially by the British, their biggest losses up to that point in any war. Total by the December 1916 the losses were big, 1,2Million men out of combat for a total of 3M; the British advance only 12 kms the French 5-8kms alone the line.  Here too it talks about the great British offensive of Yprés from June to October 1917, the battle of Cambrai in November (first using tanks), and the tragic offensive of the French at Chemin des Dames.  1918, mark the commandement unique of the allied army to Marichal Foch March 26 at Doullens, the offensive by the Australians at Villers-Bretonneux, the American monument at Cantigny, monument to the 2nd division Australians at Peronne and the Canadian memorial at Le Quesnel, all evoke the counteroffensive that led to the armistice of November 11 at Compiegne. You should visit the Historial de la Grande Guerre in Peronne see posts, webpage : https://www.historial.fr/

You can see the Cross to the 16st Irish division at Guillemont and Ginchy with Irish Treffles  for heroic action on September 3 and 9, 1916. Also, remembering all the Irish who lost their lives in WWI.  At Longueval,  and the taking of Bois Delville by the South Africans  on July 15-20 1916. At Longueval, we ,also, honor the New Zealanders that took bravery here on September 15 1916 taking objective near Flers the wood of Fourcaux, or high wood done by the 47th London division of New Zealand! You can see the South African memorial of Bois Delville with 63 hectares land of South Africa from 1920. Behind you will find a museum too with a replica of Fort du Cap. The New Zealanders have their memorial with a cross of the 12th battalion of Gloucestershire and the cemetary of Caterpillar Valley, Scottish monument of the 1th Cameron Highlanders, 1st Black Watch, and the 47th division with a Cairn of 192 stones coming from Scotland to honor the 192 who felled here from the 9th battalion Highland light Infantry (Glasgow highlanders) and the London cemetary out in about 2 km from Longueval.

The Canadians are here too, Memorial Canadien on the road D929 to the right hand side in granite stone toward the village of Courcelette, took part here September 3 to November 18 1916. Losing 24K of their sons. You have the memorial to Newfoundlanders  with 16 hectares done in 1925, you can see while getting there on the road a statue of a Caribou ,their mascot in bronce.  You can see at La Boiselle the Lochnagar Crater of 100 meters in diameter around here you saw the 34th Division of Scottish and Irish, there is a monument with a bas-relief in bronce of Saint George attacking a dragon, cross of Saint Andrew (Scottish), and a large celtic harp (Irish) with inscription engrave in the stone relating to this battle of July 1,1916.

The great battles around Albert,  with great efforts by the British , the town was destroyed 90% and the town reconstructed with the help of the city of Birmingham in England. You can see the wonderful Basilique Notre Dame de Brebiéres, and not to miss the museum ,see post, Musée Somme 1916 in Albert webpage: http://www.musee-somme-1916.eu/?lang=en

You drive around the area and can visit the Monument to the American and French nurses at Chaulnes, a gift from the USA and France Red Cross; at Lihons on August 21 1916 died in combat after volunteering to fight the nephew of Napoléon Ier Marshal Murat, a prince, you can see it on the road entering Lihons coming from Vermandovillers there is a small route on the left after the town cemetery. See the wonderful Arc de Triomphe at Proyart , a huge memorial for a small town donated by a rich Champagne men who lost his only son in the war.  You can see the old train line that supplies the front lines, the P’tit Train de la Haute-Somme; and now its a tourist attraction at Eclusier-Vaux for the little train ride and a trains museum. The Little train of the Haute Somme, webpage : http://www.appeva.org/

On May 28 1918 ,just when the French retreat from the Chemin des Dames and losing Soissons, the Americans land and engage for the first time in the front of Cantigny, and they take the town on May 31.  The American who lost their lives here are buried at the huge American cementary of the Somme in Bony, not far from the imposing memorial of Bellicourt on the road N44, it has a chapel, secretary office, and welcome center. It is honoring of the Big Red One Division on the borders of the town in the road D26 direction Montdidier, not far from the A16 direction Amiens.

At  Villers-Bretonneux, you have the Australian Memorial on the road D23 direction  Fouilloy/Corbie, two huge white towers with an even bigger one in the middle and the names of the dead written on it. It opened in 1938 and here it is held every year the ANZAC Day celebration. They were 331K volunteers from a population of 4,9M and casualties of  58500 men including 16000 dead. See ,also at the Le Hamel the Parc Memorial Australien built by Australia in August 7,1998; free to all with trenches intact.  It is here too in July 4 1918 Australian and American troops fought alongside with infantry, artillery, aviation, tanks, and paratroopers to begin the modern war tactics…The Australian museum webpage : https://www.museeaustralien.com/en-au/home

Do visit the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, where over 72,000 men with no known grave are remembered. Climb to the top of the  Newfoundland Caribou Memorial at Beaumont-Hamel for a moving view of the former battlefield.  See the enormous Lochnagar mine crater at La Boisselle, created at the beginning of the Battle of the Somme, on 1 July at 7h28 (7:28 am). Explore Delville Wood and the South African Memorial at Longueval, a former battleground today at peace. Take part in the moving ANZAC Day Dawn Service on 25 April at Villers-Bretonneux.  Participate with the commemorations of the Battle of the Somme at various sites of remembrance on 1 July.

Today, you can pay tribute to these great men in various cemetaries all over France,these are: The French are care by the Ministry of Defense and in the Somme there are 20 national cementaries webpage: https://www.memoiredeshommes.sga.defense.gouv.fr/

For those seeking a love one, this place can help, French Defense Ministry webpage : https://www.memoiredeshommes.sga.defense.gouv.fr/en/arkotheque/inventaires/recherche.php?fam=10

Picardie 14-18 in French for those seeking battlefields etc mostly British but others too,webpage: http://www.picardie1418.com/fr/decouvrir/cimetieres-militaires-somme.php

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission takes care of the dead from the areas known as the Commonwealth UK, it takes care of 410 cementaries in the Somme alone, webpage :https://www.cwgc.org/

From the USA, it is the American Battles Monuments Commission, who handles and maintain them, webpage : https://www.abmc.gov/

Towns in general of WWI or Great War history and conflict are Doullens, hall of the sole command, Froissy, petit train de la haute somme, Thiepval, memorial Franco-Britanique, La Boiselle, Beaumont-Hamel, Rancourt, Longueval, Albert, Chaulnes,Cantigny,Lihons, Aveluy, Soyécourt, Frisé, Eclusier-Vaux, Maricourt, Feuilléres, Bouchavesnes-Bergen, Flaucourt, Courcelette, Martinpuich, Mametz,Fay,Moislans, Corbie, and Montauban-de-Picardie.

And of course, there are many others like Vimy, the Indian Memorial at Neuve-Chapelle, Notre-Dame de Lorette monument in Ablain-St-Nazaire, National Museum of Franco-American cooperation at Blérancourt, the Clairiére de l’Armistice at Compiegne, the Memory of Walls Museum at Verneuil-en-Halate, Caverne de Dragons and Chemin des Dames near Laon, Second battle of the Marne Memorial and Dormans Ossuary at Dormans, Navarin Ossuary at Souain, The First battle of the Marne memorial at Mondement, Vauquois Hill near Fleury, The world peace center at Verdun, as well as the Verdun Memorial, Douaumont Ossuary and Vaux fort.In addition footnote information, for the Australians the most memorable places other than Villers-Bretonneux are Amiens, Corbie Plateau, Le Hamel, Albert, Poziéres, Sailly-le-Sec and Peronne.

For me including those of WWII as well is the American Cementary of Suresnes (dept 92 Hauts de Seine just outside Paris), And , also, the Lafayette Escadrile located inside the gates of Domaine National de Sainte-Cloud, (dept 92 Hauts de Seine as well)  of where I have been the most and event took visiting friends there. The  ABMC above webpage has more info.

Rememberance is to honor them, never forget. As I see many who likes to come to cemeteries for the rich and famous, why not come to these ones, the feeling is much better and the experience unique! Hope you have enjoy the post as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

July 18, 2021

The War Remnants Museum , Ho Chi Minh City!

I am glad got this one out of the hat to update this educational old post on the War Remnants Museum of Ho Chi Minh City! Let me tell you a bit more about it and hope you enjoy it as I.

I have come to Vietnam several times in the last few years, and always a nice welcome. The impressive country knowing of all the wars there is amazing the recuperation of its landscapes. I have touch briefly on it but believe need to expand a bit more on this museum in Ho Chi Minh City, the the War Remnants Museum .

hcmc-war-mem-mus-planes-in-patio-mar16

I visited the War Remnants Museum , this is a must to understand the war from French colonial and especially from the American intervention, with portraits, maps, weapons ,and real remnants of airplanes, helicopters, tanks, machine guns like the 107 mm huge; tracing the history of cooperation and support for the Vietnam liberation.  You take it as you know it. It is well worth the visit. 

hcmc-war-mem-mus-plane-a1-mar16

The War Remnants Museum ,first opened to the public in 1975. Once known as the Museum of American War Crimes, it’s a shocking reminder of the long Vietnam War.  Graphic photographs and American military equipment are on display. There’s a helicopter with rocket launchers, a tank, a fighter plane, a single-seater attack aircraft. You can also see a conventional bomb that weighs at 6,800kg. American troops had used these weapons against the Vietnamese between 1965 and 1975.

hcmc-war-mem-mus-helicopter-back-mar16

Operated by the Vietnamese government, an earlier version of this museum opened on September 4, 1975, as the Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes. It was located in the former United States Information Agency building. In 1990, the name was changed to Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Aggression, dropping both U.S. and Puppet. In 1995, following the normalization of diplomatic relations with the United States and end of the US embargo a year before (the war dead were forgotten), the references to war crimes and aggression were dropped from the museum’s title as well, and it became the War Remnants Museum as of today.

hcmc-war-mem-mus-107-mm-guns-mar16

The most talked-about exhibits at the War Remnants Museum are the tiger cages. The South Vietnamese government kept their political prisoners in these confinements.  Locals believe the cages imprisoned up to 14 people at a time. The museum also has a guillotine brought in by the French government. Both the French and South Vietnamese used it to execute their prisoners until 1960. The museum comprises a series of themed rooms in several buildings, with period military equipment placed within a walled yard.  Other exhibits include graphic photography, accompanied by a short text in English, Vietnamese and Japanese, covering the effects of Agent Orange and other chemical defoliant sprays, the use of napalm and phosphorus bombs, and war atrocities such as the My Lai massacre.

hcmc-war-mem-mus-tanks-mar16

The War Remnants Museum is currently one of the most popular museums in Vietnam. The War Remnants Museum is a war museum at 28 Vo Van Tan, corner with Le Quy Don Streets, in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City (old Saigon).

The official webpage of the War Remnants Museum is here: http://warremnantsmuseum.com/

The Vietnam tourist office on must things to see in HCMC including this museumhttps://vietnam.travel/things-to-do/7-must-see-attractions-hcmc

There you go folks, something that needs to be told and visit and you make your own conclusion. Its part of the historically politically correct traveller in me. The War Remnants Museum is all that and more. Hope you enjoy the post!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,
July 10, 2021

Nha Trang, Vietnam!

Another set of wonderful memories of my several visits to Vietnam. This one was unexpected we were going elsewhere north but settle here with some friends and it was a blast. Really nice beach and awesome nightlife!! Let me tell you a bit about Nha Trang in Vietnam! Hope you enjoy it as I.

I have come to Vietnam several times in the last few years, last was in Dec’18. Plenty written in my blog on it. However, there is one spot that brings about great souvenirs and fun times and many things typical of my youth as well.  So let me bring you back to Nha Trang, a delightful coastal beach town in central Vietnam. I considered myself lucky to be able to come to these far places and to enrich my knowledge of the world.  Nha Trang is in the top places with the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam. There are long beaches of white sand and a turquoise and transparent sea. Nha Trang is the capital of the province of Khanh Hoa. It is a seaside town, located in 434 km, north of Ho Chi Minh City (aprox 1h flight).

A bit of history I like:  The city of Nha Trang belonged to the kingdom of Champa, founded in 240 inhabited by the Chams. There were about 200 kings in the Viet Nam Center (Annam) before their disappearance. In 748, construction of the group of temples of Po Nagar (Hindu) where the adoration of the Lingam and the Yoni is still being practised (symbols of male and female energy, Yang/Yin, and the main love engine of life). The city was looted by the Khmers in 950.  In 1640 ,aprox., the town was invaded by Northerners, the Giao-Chi, later called Kinh or Viets. This leads to the disappearance of the Cham. And there is more modern history but most know that.

A bit more on things to see here per moi!

With an area of approximately 507 sq km , Nha Trang Bay comprises 19 islands and islets, and is one of the few natural models of the bay system in the world, which brings together most of the rare and tropical ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangroves, herbaria… With a diverse ecosystem, Nha Trang Bay becomes the ideal shelter for rare and precious animal species such as swiftlet, caret, red coral, pearl oyster, and oval abalone.

nha-trang-passing-snails-cultivation-mar16

nha-trang-fishing-harbor-mar16

The main central beach in town is a beautiful 7 km beach, and runs along the road of Trần Phú, the most lively axis of Nha Trang.  The beach is clean and shallow, with white sand and turquoise waters. In the afternoon, it is often populated by tourists. It is in this area where you can find all types of hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. This is awesome, and I walk it all 6 kms of it lol! plenty to do for all tastes! You can see the rest below interesting, but the main action here is the beach and clubs!

nha-trang-beach-3-mar16

nha-trang-zyma-club-bar-dance-mar16

Other things to see here of interest according to me are the Đầm market; built in 1908, it is the largest market in Nha Trang. You can find seafood, clothing, souvenirs, fruits, etc. Visit Po Nagar a Cham temple founded before 781, dedicated to the goddess Yan Po Nagar, legendary founder of the Kingdom of Champa, later identified with the Hindu goddesses Bhagavati and Mahishasuramardini, and which is called in Vietnamese Thiên Y Thánh Mâu. See the Long Son Pagoda, built in 1886, Long Son is one of the oldest pagodas in the region. It is located 3 km from the city center and has a reclining Buddha, at 17 meters, surrounded by 49 stone monks. The pagoda offers breathtaking views of Nha Trang.  Discover the Nha Trang Oceanographic Institute. The Institute includes an oceanographic museum. Many ponds and aquariums are home to a multitude of animal species in their reconstituted ecosystems. Visitors are immersed in a colorful world of rare and delicate marine creatures such as anemones, starfish, holothurians, snakes, turtles, fish…etc. And why not visit the Museum of Alexander Yersin ; the discoverer of the plague bacillus. The panels retracing his life are written in French and the curator is Francophone. In the Institut Pasteur, at 10 rue Tran Phu.

The Hotels guide to Vietnam on Nha Tranghttp://www.vietnam-guide.com/nha-trang/

A private webpage Cap Vietnam on Nha Trang in French: https://www.cap-vietnam.com/node/23889

The govt tourist information webpage on Khanh Hoa province (Nha Trang) in Vietnamese: https://vietnamtourism.gov.vn/index.php/items/6823

There you go folks, another nice spot to visit, Nha Trang, plenty of visitors already there and you must visit.  It is a jewel in exotic Vietnam. Hope you have enjoy the introduction tour by yours truly!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,
July 9, 2021

Cernuschi museum of Asian Arts of Paris!

And this is another odd one, visited by chance many years ago, I guess in my blog for the memories as need to revisit. It is in a wonderful area of my eternal Paris and love the walks around there. You will be glad you stop by here and of course, take a look at the Cernuschi museum of Paris! It is also, known as the Museum of Asian Arts of Paris.

I updating my older post on a little known museum in my eternal Paris and  I feel it merits mentioning in my blog and eventually I will get to see it up close and personal later on promise.  For now, will tell you a bit on the Musée Cernuschi, by Parc Monceau (see post). The weirdness in it is that on this park I have walk and walk and even did my first Vélib bike ride in it when it all started way back. Walked in front of the museum as can be seen by the picture, but darn it ,need to see it. 

paris-musee-cernuschi-front-feb14

 The musée Cernuschi is a museum dedicated to Asian arts, and more specifically to those in the Far East: China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. It is the second museum devoted to Asian arts in France and the fifth devoted to Chinese art in Europe.  This museum is originally created thanks to the bequest of the collections made in 1896 to the city of Paris by the financier Henri Cernuschi. Inaugurated in 1898, it is one of the oldest museums in the city. The museum is located in the former private mansion of the donor, Henri Cernuschi, near the Parc Monceau, at 7, Avenue Velasquez (8éme arrondissement). Built in a neoclassical style between 1873-1874. It is reach best on metro Villiers lines 2 and 3.

From 2001 to 2005, the museum was completely renovated. It retains more than 12 000 works and is one of the five major collections of Chinese art in Europe. Rich in more than a thousand works, the Cernuschi Museum’s bronze collection is one of the most important in the world. It has a unique collection in Europe of painters representative of Imperial China under the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing dynasties (1644-1911), but also a beautiful set of modern Chinese paintings, from the first half of the 20C.  More than 900 works are part of the permanent exhibition, devoted to Chinese art. But the most imposing piece visible in the museum is the Buddha of Meguro, an 18C Japanese bronze which is the monumental piece, in the center of the Museum, Room 54.

The museum also has Korean and Vietnamese collections of very high quality. The collections held in the museum’s reserves, mainly Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese but also Chinese, are presented in the context of temporary exhibitions. After my many trips to Asia it will be worth it for me to come back to see it up close and personal, soon.

The Official Cernuschi museum webpage: https://www.cernuschi.paris.fr/en

The Paris tourist office on the museumhttps://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71076/Musee-Cernuschi-Musee-des-Arts-de-l-Asie-de-la-Ville-de-Paris

There you go folks another dandy in Paris and I need to see it, especially since going more often lately to Asia. For now enjoy the post on the Cernuschi museum of Paris, worth a detour indeed.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: , , ,
June 26, 2021

Ho Chi Minh City! We have met!!!

In my history we got to know Vietnam well and one of the cities we listen often was Saigon. After the war and the country coming out as a whole, the city was name after their heroe Ho Chi Minh. And then , I finally arrived. It has been many trips lost count, visiting north to south and even further by plane, by car all over. Many friends and some still in touch. We will see when our roads crossed again. For now, enjoy this introduction to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam!

hcmc-le-thanh-sq-left-side-mar16

I updating the text and links on this older post, hope you enjoy it as much as I. Again thanks for reading me since Nov 2010 in my blog.  This one was a surprise, never expected to visit this city nor this country but business always prevail. After so many trips to Vietnam ,north and south, it has been a pleasant experience full of friendly people and good times.  Let me give you this time something on the history of this old and new city of the East.

Ho Chi Minh City, commonly called Saigon, which was the official name until 1975, or formerly Prey Nokor when it belonged to the Khmer Empire. Ho Chi Minh City, whose status corresponds to that of a Vietnamese province, is divided in 19 boroughs and 5 districts,and  it is located on the banks of the Saigon River. Located near the Mekong Delta, this city is the southern metropolis of the country. It was originally a Khmer fishing village and in the 17C became a Vietnamese (and Chinese) settlement city under the impetus of the imperial Court of Nguyên in Hue. During the French colonization, it was first the capital of the colony of Cochinchina, then that of French Indochina from 1887 to 1901. After the partition of the country at the end of the Indochina War, Saigon became the capital of the Republic of Việt Nam (from 1954). Its capture by the Communists on April 30, 1975 (Fall of Saigon) after the Americans left them, marked the end of the conflict, and the winners rename the city in favor of their historical leader, Hồ Chí Minh, who died more than five years earlier.

The name Saigon refers to the district of Cholon (Big Market), while the mandarins use various appellations, Dong Nai, Phan Yen, Gia Dinh and, by local traders, Ben Nghe and Ben Thanh. The French, for their part, perpetuate the name Sài Gòn,  it is the French pronunciation, until the 1920’s. From 1931 to 1956, this name will be officially associated with that of Cholon, the city bordering on a strong Chinese community, with which it will be merged, Saigon-Cholon, before resuming the name of Saigon alone.

More on the history trail I like. During the Lê Kings dynasty the period from 1428 to 1789 in Vietnam, the spice Route attracted the first European missionaries and traders around the 16C. The country was divided and competed by two seigneurial forces, the Trinh in the north of the country and the Nguyen in the south. The Westerners called the lower Cochinchina the part governed by the Nguyen, of which Saigon became the capital the first Vietnamese presence in the city of Ho Chi Minh date in the early 17C when Lord Nguyen established a tax station in 1623 and an officer of the Lords Nguyen establishes a military post at Tan My, in the current region of Saigon in 1679.

Before becoming Vietnamese, Saigon was the most important port in Cambodia, under the name of Prey Kor. Occupied by Vietnamese from the 17C, the site was then called Saigon, then surrounded by walls in the 18C, before being conquered by the French in 1859. Saigon will then be known for years as the Paris of the Far East , however, Ho Chi Minh City has lost most of its colonial heritage outside of the monuments and completely lost its French character.

Tan Son Nhat International Airport, located inside the city, and the one I have used in and out and several others in trips to other cities in Vietnam.  There is a new airport which was to be completed in 2020, but long delays now has it due for 2025; this is Long Thành International Airport, which will then receive international flights, Tan Son Nhat retaining the service of the national lines. Ho Chi Minh City has two major bus stations: Ben XE Mien Tay which connects it to the south of Vietnam, and Ben Xe Mien Dong which connects it to the north there are many taxi companies in this city, more or less reliable in terms of prices; very cheap but stick to a price. I have been given rides by locals there so other than a couple times on taxis all has been by locals in addition to flying out with them.

Someof the things to see there in my opinion of course are:

The Notre-Dame Cathedral, in red brick imported from Toulouse, on the model of the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris but of inferior dimensions. It was built by the French from 1877 to 1880. It is located in the Paris square , formerly Place Pigneau de Behaine.  On the side the large central train station whose metal frame was designed by Gustave Eiffel are two colonial maps preserved at the entrance. The Hotel Continental, built in 1880, the writer André Malraux (later prime minister of culture of France)  and his wife lived there between 1924 and 1925.The Hotel Majestic, built in 1925 in the colonial French style.  The opera or  Municipal Theater  built on the model of the Petit Palais of Paris, in 1900. Ä very nice City/ town hall of Ho Chi Minh City built between 1902-1908.  The Palace of Reunification (former presidential palace built at the site of the Palace of Norodom). The Jade Emperor Pagoda, the Pagoda of Giac Làm, the Vinh Nghîem Pagoda. The Hindu temple of Mariamman at Trương Định street (ex-Lareynière Street). The Indian mosque at Đông Du street (ex- Admiral-Dupré street).

hcmc-cathedral-nd-front-mar16

hcmc-city-hall-2-mar16

The Church of Cha Tàm in the Chinatown of Cholon whose interior is a mixture of Gothic and Chinese.  The Temple dedicated to the goddess Thien Hau, protector of navigators, also located in Cholon ( Nguyen Trai street ) and built in the Chinese style. The Ben Thanh Market (very popular)  ,and Binh Tay Market in the Chinatown of Cholon .. Museum of the revolution where many  planes, helicopters and other vehicles are exposed in the gardens mostly from the American time. Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, located in the former premises of the Maritime company , a brick building and the oldest French vestige in town. In fact, Saigon was the Asian head of the maritime passenger and freight transport, between Marseille and the Far East during the colonial period.

hcmc-reuni-palace-inside-gardens-mar16

hcmc-war-mem-mus-planes-in-patio-mar16

Some of my earlier souvenir of visiting HCMC was staying at the wonderfully historically and gorgeous Grand Silverland Hotel & Spa, on District I, a very nice old world hotel with all amenities and right in the buzzle of the city, close to many attractions. webpage: https://grand-silverland-spa.hotel-rn.com/index.htm

I guess not landing hard on local cuisine I was taken to the Hogs Breath Cafe,  for an apero introduction with a nice tiger beer in the terrace outside, with the world passing by, and good friends. As good is hard to be kept the resto has closed I am told back in 2018. However, great moments here so keep it just for the memories!  We move on for dinner at the colonial very nice and friendly (they serve all for us on the plate) at Qua nhà hàng ngon restaurant, with an array of noodle dishes very hard to remember their names lol!!! webpage: https://www.nhahangquangon.com/home-page/

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The Vietnam tourist board on Ho Chi Minh Cityhttps://vietnam.travel/places-to-go/southern-vietnam/ho-chi-minh-city

The Vietnam Guide webpage unofficial on Ho Chi Minh Cityhttp://www.vietnam-guide.com/ho-chi-minh-city/attractions/

The city of Ho Chi Minh City in English: https://eng.hochiminhcity.gov.vn/

There you go folks, another dandy spot in my world map. This is worth the detour to visit Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam ,even if  very crowded but interesting nightlife.

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,
%d bloggers like this: