Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Hanoi, Vietnam

Everyday thousands of people queue to visit the embalmed remains of former leader Ho Chi Minh. The mausoleum in Hanoi was completed in 1975 after two years of construction and six years after Ho Chi Minh’s death. Even though in his will Ho Chi Minh stated that he wanted to be cremated he body was embalmed and displayed in the building which has since been placed in a list of the world’s ugliest buildings.

Ho Chi Minh left behind a legacy that didn’t necessarily represent his life. His image is featured on the Vietnamese bank notes, public buildings and many homes, shortly after his death the city of Saigon was changed to Ho Chi Minh City, and any critical opinions and publications of him are banned in Vietnam with Ho Chi Minh frequently being glorified.

After following an endless queue for more than a hour I entered the mausoleum. On every corner there was a guard and before I entered the room in which his body was displayed a guard removed hands from pockets, hats from heads and ensure absolute silence. I walked around the outside of the room with the glass coffin in the center of the room, after such a long time queuing I was only in front of the coffin for less than a minute. It was a very surreal experience.

Landmarks Around the World

Landmarks have always been a favourite of mine and they have featured heavily on my blog in the past. Over the next few weeks I will be posting about different landmarks around the world that I have visited in the form of a photograph, description or my experience, sometimes it may be all three. A landmark can be big or small, a monument or a statue that marks a place in history, to mountain or building that symbolises the man made or the natural world. The possibilities are endless.

Many of us have visited a landmark of some description during our travels and even featured them on our blogs. What I would like is for others to join me as I explore the different landmarks around the world. Whether it is a photograph, your experience or a description I would like to see them.

Leave a pingback or a link in the comments to one of my current posts on landmarks and I will feature a selection of the best in my next post.

Landmarks Around the World

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Previously featured landmarks:

Take the shot!

During my time in Vietnam when I was walking through the hills in the north when I was hit by a moral dilemma. There were three half naked childern climbing on a fence to look over the valley below. It would have made a great photograph but I refused to take the photo. I knew it would have been a fantastic photograph and even after pressure from my friend I stood my ground.

I don’t think it is fair to assume that it is acceptable for us to take photographs of whatever or whoever we want. I wouldn’t be allowed to take that type of photograph at home, it would be seen as inappropriate. Yes, there is a difference in culture and maybe that would be fine in Vietnam but I am a firm believer that if you wouldn’t do it at home then you shouldn’t do it while travelling.

Vietnam

Vietnam

 

Now with social media so prominent in peoples lives a photograph can be shared instantly for the world to see. How do we now opted out? Is the answer to carry a sign that says no flash photography like we see in museum or some sacred sites. As a photographer I was taught to be this silent observer who can record the details of a war but never chooses a side. but isn’t really a question of morals.

I would like to hear what you think. Should we ask before snapping away? Have you ever stolen a photograph without permission? Where should we draw the line when social media is involved. Please comment below.

See how this is effecting tourism in other parts of the world and read the article by The Guardian, How eco-tourism in the Amazon is short changing the locals.

Photography 101

For the last month I have been sharing my photographs as part of the Photography 101 course and their daily tasks and topics. For some of my posts I have tried to contain more detail than just photographs but as part of a recap that shares some of my favourite, and those of my readers, I wanted to include a gallery of the ten best photographs.

Rice Paddies of Vietnam

The mountains in Northern Vietnam are like nothing I have ever seen before. This natural beauty that has been crafted by man over the years to use the landscape to their advantage. Farming can’t be easy in a region like this and it must have take them years to sculpture the landscape. The rice paddies follow the contours of the mountain perfectly leaving a symmetry that nature doesn’t have.

Vietnam

Vietnam