Our first full day in Vietnam (and Hanoi) was a Sunday. Our Hotel suggested we wander over to the Museum of Ethnology. We thought we knew something about Vietnam but a visit to this museum showed us just how superficial our knowledge was of this vast, complex and populated country. So many young Vietnamese were ther, we thought it must have been a special day, but no, they just liked being there to celebrate their culture. An excellent display housed in the main building was complemented by what was going on in the grounds - a traditional water puppet show in an outdoor water theatre (thankfully it was outdoors because the fire breathing dragon puppets set fir to the stage curtain!), several life scale traditional houses were set up and you could go in and explore how some villagers lived and some examples of traditional burial buildings were set amongst the gardens. We were amazed at just how many discrete ethnic communities make up modern Vietnam and we enjoyed so much speaking to the young Vietnamese who approached us shyly just to practice their english and satisfy their curiosity. It was such a great day.
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