In Hanoi, one of the last remnants of Vietnam’s former devotion to communism and friendship with Russia stands in the a large statue of Soviet Union leader Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, or Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. A gift from Vietnam’s former ally, the USSR, the statue sits in a park at Nguyen Thai Hoc avenue and Dien Bien Phu street, and forms a fascinating, stark contrast to its backdrop. You’ll see neon Sony advertisements and fast food restaurants in the surrounding area, exemplifying the political and social changes the country has gone through in recent times.
The statue is made of stone and very large, towering imposingly over visitors and framed by palm trees. Perhaps fittingly, the Lenin statue overlooks a nearby museum of military history. Right in front of the statue is a well equipped playground, which should occupy most children long enough for their history buff parents to get their fill. On some mornings, you can see locals going through a synchronized dancing/exercise routine under the watchful gaze of the former Soviet leader.