A rainy day a historic site, reflecting on Tony Bourdain and others

Today the weather started out okay but by the time a late breakfast was done and I walked to the places I wanted to see, weather was turning to thunderstorms and rain. I had decided on two places for today.

Imperial Thang Long Citadel. The citadel is interesting but they have not really restored much or worked on it. There is an active archeological investigation but the rain hampered being able to really see things. I walked to the citadel and looked around and then watched some video of its history. It would be nicer if the government would renovate or restore some of it so people could get a sense of how large and significant historically it really was. It was actually hard to take photographs because the rain decided to really fall for awhile.

Vietnam War Museum. Down the street from the Citadel is the War Museum. I walked by this many times and decided to save it for the last so did the warm museum as well. It has a lot of planes, artillery, a jet, ordnance, and stories about the wars that the Vietnamese have fought in including their national heroes.

There a historic war planes and artillery pieces so its fun to wander around in if you are like military history.

There are also inside exhibits featuring the wars in Vietnam’s history and stuff.

These were the two places I had wanted to get to today. Unfortunately the weather was not so good for walking around and seeing stuff. I feel like I got to see the war museum pretty well but the citadel may have had some stuff I missed.

I also was thinking on the walk today about my next three months or so in Vietnam. Initially I was going to stay in Ho Chi Minh City the entire time but then I started reading about Da Lat and Cam Ranh Bay. Da Lat is in the central highlands so temperatures are cooler and the city sounds like a place where there are not lots of expats and tourists roaming around all the time.

Now I have only one bucket list place left to go which is a museum as well. I am going to hold off on that and see how tomorrow is weather wise. Its a bit farther to go so I will probably get a cab to take me there and then walk back to the hotel.

I read the news this morning with sadness about Tony Bourdain passing. I had not read too many of his things or watched his shows on TV but I felt he really provided the glue between the people, places, and the traveler. I think the world’s cultures are going to miss him and as a spokesperson for food and fun and adventure we will not have another like him. There are others which travel and write and do things. I don’t know why that he died but its sad that we have lost so many talents. It seems like with success comes personal demons. I think back on people like Robin Williams and still find myself missing him.

For both Robin and Tony we have their legacy which is their work but the sparkling wit of Robin and world traveler and master story teller of Tony is missing. Sure there are replacements. There are the new generation of traveler and a person to make you laugh. It won’t be the same and I think that’s good. We cannot simply replace people like this.

The clip of Obama and Bourdain eating Bun Cha in Hanoi tells it all.

The main message is to travel and see and not take the same ole same ole. Find the thing that is your step to the unknown. We each have a thing that propels us, excites us, delivers us. For some of us, we’ve left things behind and picked up new things as hobos and vagabonds of the life ways. Find your thing!