The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum at Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi is no different from Chairman Mao’s at the Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Both bodies of these political leaders are enshrined in a building for everyone to see. Ok, not everyone – only for those who are willing to queue up outside the mausoleum.

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi (Vietnam)

But I don’t have such patience to join a queue only to see a dead body embalmed for eternity.

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi Vietnam
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi (Vietnam)

Unfortunately, the mausoleum was not open on the day I was there. So all tourists did was walk the square from end to end and exit.

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi Vietman
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi (Vietnam).

For those who don’t know – Ho Chi Minh was the founder of modern Vietnam. He was a fearless revolutionary revered by the Vietnamese people. His name carries the name of Vietnam’s largest city, Chi Minh City (also Saigon) in the south!

Parliament Building in Hanoi Vietnam
The Parliament Building is across the mausoleum (Hanoi, Vietnam).

Ho Chi Minh wished to be cremated and have his ashes be thrown in the north, middle and south of the country.

President House Hanoi Vietnam
Facing the mausoleum, you will find the President’s House/Mansion on the right side – after you exit.

But, as you know – it didn’t happen. The people embalmed his remains and made a mausoleum to honour him. They exactly did the 360-degree reverse of what the great leader wanted!

Things to do in Hanoi  Vietnam
Tourist attractions in Hanoi (Vietnam)

If you look at the structure, those granite stones, and other materials are from all parts of the country.

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi

And as you can see, men in white uniform guard the Mausoleum with watchful eyes.

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi Vietnam
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi (Vietnam)

The receptionist at my hostel told me that I should witness the changing of the guards. He said, “It’s interesting to see and it’s just like London, you know?” However, he could not tell me at which time this activity happens during the day. 😀

Things to do in Hanoi Vietnam
Things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam

Going inside the square is kinda weird. All visitors and bags must pass the scanner. There was a heavy police presence anywhere around the square. No time for posing butt-naked – if you are planning to do it! 😀

Related Post: The Imperial Citadel of Than Long

Things to do in Hanoi Vietnam
Things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam

Where to Stay in Hanoi

I stayed at Little Hanoi Hostel in the Old Quarter. They have bunk beds and rooms for those who want privacy complete with a bathtub. Take note that you are in the Old Quarter so you don’t expect 5-star quality accommodation. Most buildings are old and the pipes are rusty. This hostel, however, looks fine to me – though it would have been better if I were assigned in a room with a window. The staff members are nice and they helped me book an airline ticket and taxi to the airport. You can find everything around the hostel and it is walking distance to everything you want to see in Hanoi. You can also book it via BookingTripAdvisorExpedia, and HostelWorld.

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