Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a famous historical attraction of Hanoi which is known for honoring President Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh is Vietnam’s great father who devoted all his life to protect the country from invaders. Ho Chi Minh or Uncle Ho passed away in 1969 at the age of 79. The mausoleum was built and then opened in 1973 at the exact place where president Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independent in 1945 which is named Ba Dinh square.
The building is where visitors can show their respect and gratitude towards Ho Chi Minh, the person who freed the whole nation from slavery. The building is built from granite inside and wood outside which are contributed by people from all over the country. Hence, the garden surrounding the Mausoleum is a collection of plants and bonsais which are donated from all the nation. In fact, the construction of the Mausoleum went against what Ho Chi Minh wished in his will. When he passed away, he did not want to waste land which would be saved for agriculture.
So far, a lot of people visiting Hanoi as they want to see the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, and also the house where he used to work and live. When you first access to the mausoleum, the first things you will see are the Rose Garden which is located in front of Ho Chi Minh’s temple and Ba Dinh Square where Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence 58 years ago. Hence, you can also go to his old house to get a view of where he worked and lived.
The house on stilts is a perfect demonstration of Ho Chi Minh’s modest and healthy lifestyle. This house is where Ho Chi Minh and his fellows in the Ministry of politics’ meeting took place. Outside, there is an aquarium which is the home of numerous kind of fish, which interests not only children but also adults a lot when they come to see colorful stocks of fish waiting for being feed. If you go upstairs, you will see a bedroom and a studying room. All the equipment and furniture in the house are also very simple. You will see only the necessary items, many of which were gifts from Ho Chi Minh’s friends from all over the world.
After visiting Ho Chi Minh’s house, you will find another interesting place which is situated just behind the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, which is symbol Vietnam in general and Hanoi in particular, which is called One Pillar Pagoda. This pagoda is made of wood and it is located in the middle of a small beautiful lotus lake. This pagoda was built in 1049, which is under the reign of Ly Thai Tong. If you look the pagoda from a long distance, you will notice that the pagoda looks like a lotus which blossoms from the lotus lake. And the unique architecture is inspired by such an interesting legend in the 11th century the King Ly Thai Ton. The King was very old and he had no son, so he often went to pagodas to bless that someday he might have a son. One night, he had a dream of meeting a God sitting on a lotus flower at the Western gate of the Imperial citadel who gave him a boy. After that, his wife was pregnant and gave birth to a boy. Consequently, the King order to construct the pagoda with a lotus shape and the pagoda was supported by just only one pillar. And the name of the pagoda comes from its unique design.
It is totally free to get to the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, but it also offers a set of strict regulations. Entering the mausoleum, you are not allowed to wear short skirts or tank tops, and there is the high level of security who will check on every single arrival. Moreover, make sure you do not carry many valuable items with you. No photos taking, talking, laughing or finger-pointing are allowed once you get inside the mausoleum. The mausoleum offers quite a lot of eating and drinking stores, but they are quite expensive. As usual, tourist often prepares and bring food like bread, sausage, and water in case they feel hungry or thirsty. However, foods are not allowed to eat inside mausoleum for the sake of hygiene.
Sometimes, the mausoleum would be closed temporarily for maintaining, so remember to check before you pay a visit.
How to get there
If you want to get there, you should take a taxi or ‘xe om' and tell the driver directly where you want to go. However, it would always easier for you to visit Ho Chi Minh mausoleum in a group with a Hanoi Tour because they can give you a deeper insight of this historical place.