War sites and museums (again...)

Trip Start Oct 04, 2005
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Trip End Nov 06, 2005


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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Friday, October 14, 2005

I arrived in Dien Bien Phu much earlier as planned. No one knows in what condition the roads are here, in the northwest of the country. Well, I know now that they are o.k. - I mean, I've seen worse, so don't tell me these roads are bad.
Dien Bien Phu is a site of a famous battle for Vietnamese liberation in 1954, after which the French army surrendered to Ho Chi Minh on the 6th May in 1954. I was here because this place and victory plays an important role in Vietnamese history. there's a museum in which the bravery and psychological strength of Vietnamese people is shown more than obvious. Well, you must know that every museum in Vietnam is pretty bias, which makes me laugh again and again. There's a cemetery, dedicated to brave Vietnamese soldiers (I keep using these words together... I think I'm under the Vietnamese influence already.. ;)) and a hill, that's called A1 hill, where you can se trenches and tunnels and bunkers and tanks and many monument. A1 hill is a place where "bitter fighting took place" (according to LP). Than there's French artillery and a French bunker and a bridge and a place where a French commander Pirot committed suicide just the day before French surrendered, because "he realised he wasn't able to fulfill his promise to submit Vietnamese people to French government" (something like that was written in the museum). The Vietnam people are just so poetic!!!
Anyway, on the way here I met a Swiss couple in their mid 50s (I think), they were on their way to Laos. Oh, how I envied them! People on the bus were throwing up all the time. Even on my backpack. BLJAK..... I stayed in the worst hotel so far, although I was told that it's just my room that was horrible. It stank and was fool of gecko poops and the shower didn't work. So when I realised that there wasn't any flights to Ha Noi on Saturday I was kind of glad. At the end of my stay in Dien Bien Phu I met a Belgic couple who were travelling the north of Vietnam for 2 months, they travelled the south in January for one month... How I wanna be like that when I retire!!!!
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