03 November 2007 (Vietnam Net Bridge) – Built in 1822, the Son Tay Citadel stood guard over the western gate to what is now known as Hanoi. This travel piece takes a walk through the citadel, which seems to have been unfortunately badly restored.
All quiet on the western front
In my mind I had pictured Son Tay town as a sleeping beauty in amongst the hundreds of craft villages of Ha Tay province. I became determined to discover the regionâ€™s â€œhidden charmâ€ and cajoled my uncle into tagging along.
After we arrive, at first, we just amble along the townâ€™s older streets. Everywhere the houses seem small and tidy, the people seem good-natured and the town as a whole seems quaint and tranquil.
When I arrive at the moat that surrounds the ancient citadel weâ€™re given the option of rowing across in a small bamboo boat, though we choose to stroll across the bridge.
Son Tay ancient citadel was built by King Minh Mang in 1822 to defend the western gateway to the city of Thang Long, which is now, of course, Hanoi.