This afternoon we went to the Memorial House Museum. It is a preserved house in the Old Quarter, built in the 1800s. It is very small, and we probably spent less than ten minutes there, but it was certainly worth the price of admission – 5,000 dong each, or about 31 cents.
This is a picture of the kitchen, complete with wood burning stove and hammock.
This is the toilet – just a hole in the ground. There is a big sign on the door that says, “Do not use,” in several languages.
This is the home’s place of worship, where the family would pray for their ancestors and present them with offerings. I don’t think they offered their ancestors Tiger beer or Ritz crackers in the late 1800s like they have here, but if they did, they were our kind of family. They also burned counterfeit money, or “ghost money,” as an offering. Homes still have altars like this today and ancestor worship is an important part of Vietnamese culture.
Afterward we went to the Hang Be market. It was really interesting to see all of the produce and meat – live and dead. The aisles between the stalls were very narrow. It was difficult for us to navigate them carrying the babies, and there were people riding their motorbikes down them! They would drive behind us and beep their horns for us to get out of the way. We are getting very used to that sound around here. We even saw one woman stop her motorbike and buy some fruit while still sitting on it.