The first morning in Hanoi Julian rose early as usual and headed off for an early stroll around the city. Wandering around the military headquarters, a restricted compound covering several blocks in the heart of Hanoi he is told off in no uncertain terms by a Kalashnikov wielding military guard for walking too close to the restricted zone. Apparently outside the walls is not enough and he has to cross four lanes of traffic to the other side of the road. Paranoia is apparent and abundant, on first impression the rumours appear true: The authorities are fearful of those they seek to control. Generally heading west he made his way towards the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh himself, preserved and lain in state in a glass sarcophagus. After getting told off once more for trying to take a short cut to "Uncle Ho's" residence he joined the queue and filed past the body (or for the cynically minded, the Madam Tussauds copy) of the father of modern Vietnam.
|Gate entrance to the Temple of Literature|