It works. Traffic moves in an orderly fashion – there is no one trying to get anywhere in a New York minute. Hooting is only to advise one’s presence – not to scare the daylights out of other drivers or make unseemly displays of aggression. Scooters, many carrying entire families, smoothly flow around me as I cross a wide street to enter the old quarter.
You have to get used to walking on the street. Sidewalks, when they exist at all, are for parking vehicles and displaying the wares of vendors. Pedestrians don’t signify.
Graceful dancers honour Confucius and celebrate Tet in the Temple courtyard.
After passing an entrance exam, students were admitted to the university to study for a period of four to five years. Then they wrote a final exam. If they passed this final exam – and their pass/fail fate was decided by the King – they left the university with the equivalent of a PhD today. The final was fiendishly hard to pass. Over the University’s 800 year life (it stopped operating as a university when the capital was moved several hundred years ago) only 1300 odd students passed. Some years there were as few as two. The most prolific year saw 20 students pass.
And then he took us to Hoa Lo Prison.
Photos and video by R. Marion