Bạch Đằng and a Vietnamese legend

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Bạch Đằng and a Vietnamese legend


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In towns in Vietnam, the major streets are usually named after significant events or people. You’ll find a street called Bạch Đằng running parallel to any river in Vietnam in memory of the most famous battle in Vietnamese history

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For a postcard showing some water and a signpost, this picture is full of stories.

For a start, if you look to the left of the card you’ll see a guy pushing a motorbike, up to his knees in water. The photo is taken in Hoi An, which is in the centre of Vietnam. Every year, the centre of Vietnam gets hit by floods, which is one reason why people leave to live in the major cities of Hanoi and Saigon, based in the north and south respectively.

The other major story here is the name on the sign, which reads Đường Bạch Đằng. In every city in Vietnam with a river, you’ll find a road called Bạch Đằng and another called Trần Hưng Đạo.

Grand Commander Trần Hưng Đạo and the story of the battle of Bạch Đằng is well known to all Vietnamese and it goes a little something like this.

In 1288, the Mongols had invaded for the third time and Trần Hưng Đạo decided to launch an offensive against the Mongolians on the Bạch Đằng River. After studying the tides, his men went out in the dark and set sharpened bamboo poles vertically in the water, which were designed to stay hidden underwater at high tide.

The next day, at high tide, Trần Hưng Đạo sent out small boats to goad the Mongol warships, and when they came near, the tide receded, leaving the warships stranded and the Vietnamese went on to win what is now known as one of the greatest victories in Vietnamese military history.

I took a quick look on the internet for “The greatest military generals of all time“, and to my surprise found a top 10, with Trần Hưng Đạo topping the list.

More recently, Trần Hưng Đạo was named as Badass of the week by www.BadassoftheWeek.com.

So now that you have a little Vietnamese history, why not own a little slice of it for yourself, and I’ll send it direct from Hanoi!

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An e-learning professional and physics teacher by trade, Andy discovered late in life that he rather likes art. He set up my REAL wall and mailart365 to make and send as much art in the post as possible but spends far too much on postal costs

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