After our stay in Hanoi and day trip to Halong Bay (see last post), we travelled onto Hue (Vietnam Airlines).  We stayed in Hue for a few nights.  Below are some photos of our visit to the historic palace with a private guide.

Getting off track (while on track!) a bit here…

I’m writing this as we travel from Canberra – Sydney via train…almost to the end of our 4 hour journey.   We’re hoping that in the not too distant future it will be a fast train…a Spanish company say they can use the existing tracks and the ACT/NSW Government can have a “free 1 year trial”!  Sounds like a great idea but knowing how “negotiations” go with our local governments we’re not getting our hopes up at this stage!  Mostly in Sydney to have more spinal scans + see my specialist again so it’s good to have great travel memories to take my mind off anxieties + think about places we can go when I’m well enough.  So back to that now…

The history of Vietnam both ancient and modern is, like we all know, both joyous and tragic – even affecting our own generation in a huge way.

In Australia, many of us have relatives who served in the Vietnam War (known in today’s Vietnam as “the American War”).   In 1972, Tony at 19 years of age was next in line for the conscription ballot but due to a change of Government from the Conservatives to Labor, under newly elected Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, conscription was abolished.  Not long after that, Australia’s involvement in the war ended – after many, many years of public protest here, similar to what happened in the USA.  For many returning soldiers both in Vietnam, Australia and USA as well as civilian Vietnamese victims of war, it was just the start of very different struggles of course.  We have heard a lot about these struggles relating to our own Veterans and their families – even just recently on our National commemoration – ANZAC Day (25th April) + at our Australian War Memorial.

By going to Vietnam we hoped to hear more of the Vietnamese perspective – the struggles of the Vietnamese people – as I’d only learnt a little from Vietnamese immigrants, mostly in parent/teacher interviews during my teaching career as well as what we all saw on TV…consequences of napalm bombing and other terrible atrocities of war.

When I return home from our trip to Sydney this weekend, I’ll refer to journals and note some of the place names and major historic events relating to these photos…

3 Photos above:  after Hue…travelling South via car – on the border of North and South Vietnam

Photos below:  significant sites in the Vietnam War…more detail to come later in the week as it’s 10.30 pm here and tomorrow we’ll be sightseeing around Sydney followed by dinner with family