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Monday, July 02, 2012

N Vietnam 2012 - Day 3, Part 3 - National Museum of Vietnamese History

"Happiness isn't something you experience; it's something you remember." - Oscar Levant

Or misremember

***

N Vietnam 2012
Day 3 - 26th May - National Museum of Vietnamese History
(Part 3)

It was drizzling so I upgraded from motorbike to taxi. On the roof it said "meter taxi", but the driver refused to use the meter and quoted me 20,000 VND. I asked if we could use the meter and he repeated 20,000, so I had no choice (it might've been maybe 16,000 without the meter, so it wasn't so bad). If it'd been winter I'd have resisted more but as it is I resigned myself to condemning Vietnam as a country of swindlers.

I had a quick look at the Opera House.

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What the building was built to host performances of. Notice it's only in English.

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What the building actually hosts performances of. Notice it's only in Vietnamese.

The Opera House was hosting some event.

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Invitees. The men in suits, the women in Ao Dais. It seems a universal phenomenon that even when women wear ethnic wear, the men don't. Though possibly this is a bit different in India.

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The Hanoi Hilton (officially the "Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel")

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Opera House with tropical adaptations like louvre windows

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Tokusatsu banner
I saw Voltron on a TV screen another time

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Opera House from another angle

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Banner for The Girl from Maxim's

I then arrived at the National Museum of Vietnamese History.

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Photography and videography was supposedly on production of a letter of recommendation only. I think despite this photography passes were available for purchase and I think, being a sucker, I bought one again.

There was an exhibition on dragons in Vietnamese artefacts.

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Dragon motif on bodhi-leaf

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Dragon motif on doors

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Decorations in bodhi leaf shape

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Brick with dragon and dancer

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Architectural decoration in dragon head form

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Dragon motif on lampstand ("lamstand")

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Hook for hammock with Makara (Dragon), Naga

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Dragon motif on Queen's Hair Cap

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Incense burner with dragon, sacred animals

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Dragon motif on incense burner

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Dragon figurine

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Dragon motif on seals

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This sign tries to claim that Vietnam was "a cradle of early human development". Right. The English grammar is better than the French (but this wasn't evident everywhere)

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Stupa models

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Vietnamese poem in both Phien Am and Dich Nghia. The former corresponds to Mandarin pronunciation more closely (probably Cantonese would be even closer)

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Celestial Singer

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Stele

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Brick with garuda

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King Le Dai Hanh portrait (replica)

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Figurines

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Boy buddha rising from lotus

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Boddhi leaves with phoenix

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"Relief"

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This pot with 2 warriors was not labelled, but I presumed (from surrounding artefacts) that it dated from the 13th-14th centuries.
I know I rib on the Vietnamese for being Third Rate Chinese copies, but if without copying they came up with this, copying was a better idea. Other pottery sans Chinese influence was either plain or plain with geometric designs. All in all, very generic (I was impressed by a few wood items, but the tropics are humid).

They had some stakes from a famous river battle where the Chinese had been lured in during high tide and were trapped during low tide. Hah.

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Bronze jar
This item from the Dong Son culture was quite impressive. At first I thought it was from 2-3,000 BC, but actually it was 2-3,000 years ago. How sneaky (and the sign won't age well).

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Stuff

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Siva

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On Champa art.
Champa art was not Chinese-influenced (more Khmer-influenced). The Champa culture was overrun by invaders from the north (the Vietnamese). Hurr.

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Uma goddess

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Head of Goddess

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Prayer

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Head of Siva. I think that's flaming hair.

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Lion in surrendering pose
There were quite a few prancing/surrendering lions
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