Pác Bó - Hồ Chí Minh's Homecoming

Paddy fields in front of the Pac Bo village houses. Spring paddy in fields by the village of Pác Bó Fairly basic village shop and guest room. The village shop which offered us accommodation This page is of very particular interest. It concerns the tiny isolated community of Pác Bó right on the Chinese border in the far north east of Vietnam. Here in 1941 Hồ Chí Minh crossed back from China into his homeland. This return followed decades of preparation in France and then China. Perhaps the photos give you an idea of both how open, and how very remote, the border is here, and hence how easy it was for him to cross back into Vietnam without the Japanese occupational forces knowing of his presence. Village houses. Buffalo welcoming us to our residence Village houses. Pác Bó Village houses Large yellow letters pinned to a rock face saying Suoi Le Nin. Vietnamese, being a monosyllabic language, renders Lenin as Lê Nin; the sign declares 'River Lenin'... Steep hillside with the Suoi Le Nin sign down by river and the Nui cac Mac high above. ...and up above, on the hill, the sign reads Marx Hill - Mác being as near as Vietnamese gets to that awkward 'x' sound Rocky area with black hole, steps, bords and workman. The steps up to the cave where... Steps up the hillside. ...Hồ Chí Minh lived during his time in Pác Bó. Left workmen at the cave entrance. Eighty years ago there were no steps... Looking down the steps into the jungle. ...running down the hill Entrance to the very rough looking cave. The cave entrance showing something of the utter discomfort that Hồ Chí Minh and his comrades must have had in the weeks that they lived here Concrete poster saying Ho Chi minh was here and worked here in early 1941. 'President Hồ Chí Minh lived and worked here from 8th February till March 1941' Decorated concrete plaque commemorating Ho Chi Minh's homecoming. And another sign to the effect that this is where Hồ Chí Minh came back to his home country. The dates record differing aspects of his stay River pool of deep turquoise. The backs of two women, one with large jack knief in her belt. Local women talking to Hân by the pool near the cave - and feeding him eggs. The extraordinary turquoise of the pool is a colour seen often in northern Vietnam. The knife the woman carries is similar to that seen in the province Go to another page. of Hà Giang Two women sitting on mats with Han and eggs. River with karst rising behind. ...and some fields of newly planted corn on the flatter area in the foreground River with jungle covered hillsides and planted fields below. The river which passes the cave winding through a topography of karsts in the distance with thick jungle on the slopes... Ho Chi Minh poem etched in gold on a black background dated 1941. Ho Chi Minh poem etched in gold on black background dated 1961. Two poems engraved for visitors at the site, one composed by President Hồ Chí Minh while living at Pác Bó, the other written by him 20 years later In the morning to the river's bank, in the evening back to the cave
Rice soup, bamboo shoots, simple food, easily available
Like our unstable stone table - so our party evolves
Revolutionary life really is good
Twenty years ago in this cave
The Party planned the way to overcome Japan and the West
Leading the whole people into the struggle
Now we have this beautiful homeland
Narrow dirt path disappearing into scrub, background of karsts. A path in the hills above the cave crossing the border, it might well have been the way Hồ Chí Minh used on his return. There is nothing here showing which country the path is in; the only markers are at one kilometre intervals, as shown below Blue warning sign for Borber Belt in three languages. The 'Border Belt' is marked, it requires foreigners to keep clear of the area Wider hard path between vegetation This path is safely within Vietnam. Nothing tells of the border, and local animals (and their owners) wander indifferently across it Vegetation covered hillside with border marker on ledge above. Here are three glimpses of one of the markers that stand at kilometre intervals along the Vietnamese border. Above, its context on the hill... Border marker 675 from Chinese side. ...and here how the marker looks from the Chinese side Border marker 675 from Vietnamese side with jungle background. A marker post near Pác Bó from the Vietnamese side. The depth of the remoteness of this place, the sense of being so far from any vestige of power, is profound. There was no way that the French or the Japanese could control this border. Between China and Vietnam alone the border extends to well over 1,250 kilometres, with few proper roads, and much of the border running through dense jungle like this. It was from this remote corner that Hồ Chí Minh set out to lead the 34 year struggle that removed foreign invaders Trailers... Midnight sun setting across the mudflats and sea of northern Iceland. The next page has images from the far north of a very different country - Iceland Loi cleving ribs. The next page of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Language cuts nature at her joints'.
Or go to the contents of the Mosaic Section.
Saturday 9th November 2019 Murphy on duty ...guide to this site

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