Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum - Ha Noi

Published: 29/06/2012 08:09



The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is located in the centre of Ba Dinh Square, is a large memorial in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is the place where Ho Chi Minh leader read the Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945, established the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh's embalmed body was placed in the centrepiece, lies in a bier inside a glass case. Guests have to join a queue and file through the room without stopping. No photography is allowed and all personal possessions must be left outside the mausoleum.

It’s a macabre experience, but most visitors foreign who travel to Vietnam, seem to find strangely moving, perhaps due to the undisguised reverence of the Vietnamese people present.The building was erected with assistance from the USSR, and is a good example of Soviet architecture of the period. It’s guarded by an honour guard of Vietnamese soldiers in immaculate white dress uniforms who march around the building at regular intervals

It is open from 08.00 to 11.00 from Tuesday to Thursday, and over the weekends. In fact, Uncle Ho, as he is affectionately known in Vietnam, left directions for his cremation in his will. However, at the time of his death in 1969, the year after the Tet Offensive, the war was still raging and morale was low. Communist Party chiefs recognised his iconic status and overrode his wishes, probably a pragmatically wise decision, but ethically reprehensive.The embalming process was undertaken by Russian experts – each year in early autumn, his body is flown to Moscow for three months for maintenance.

The grandeur of the mausoleum is a strange contrast to the simple stilt house where Ho Chi Minh lived and worked. Built in the style of ethnic minority dwellings, it overlooks a large carp pond and is a calm sanctuary. Visitors can look through the windows to see the austere furnishings and his few personal possessions. On his desk each day is a vase of his favourite blossoms, hoa hue trang, a sweetly scented flower rather like a tall white bluebell. 

Nearby is the magnificent Presidential Palace, once the palace of the Governor-General of Indochina during the colonial period. Unfortunately, it’s not open to the public.

In the opposite direction, the Ho Chi Minh Museum supplies a comprehensive overview of the man’s life and work and his vision of peace and happiness. It’s informative, but understandably overlooks some of the more risqué episodes in his life. Close by, the famous One Pillar Pagoda is worth a passing look. Although it’s one of the symbols of Hanoi, it’s something of a disappointment as it’s a modern replica.

The Ho Chi Minh Museum for Vietnam culture travel is open from 08.00 to 11.00 and from 13.30 to 16.30 every day. A short walk across Da Dinh Square directly in front of the mausoleum takes you to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a stunningly beautiful monument especially when illuminated at night. From there, you are able to go for a short walk to the Hanoi Citadel.

Source: haivenu

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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