During one of my weekend jaunts in Hanoi, I decided to go bold and do something unusual. Nope, I didn’t decide to befriend other tourists or try to find love. I simply decided to make a wrong turn. On purpose. See, my usual routes as soon as I get off the bus is this: Bus Station > Cho Dong Xuan Market > Hoan Kiem Lake > CGV Tower Ba Trieu, and back. I don’t take side roads or ones that aren’t too familiar. But this time, I actually DID!
So, instead of turning left towards the Cho Dong Xuan Market to grab some lunch, I just decided to head straight and just let my feet lead me. And ten minutes later, I was walking towards one of the city’s most important historical and cultural spots.
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh was the prime minister and president of Vietnam who was the leading figure in the country’s independence. His mausoleum is considered one of Vietnam’s most important spots.
The grounds in front of the mausoleum is often used for public presentations and programs.
The mausoleum is located very close to the Presidential Palace where Ho Chi Minh lived. His body, which can be found inside the structure, is available for viewing. Rules and guidelines for visitors are strictly enforced, however.
The mausoleum is surrounded by other important cultural, political, and historical structures. This yellow building, for example, features distinct French architecture.
This modern structure is called the Vietnam National Assembly House.
Access to the Presidential Palace is strictly prohibited. The grounds, however, can be accessed by the public. One of the key features of the palace grounds is the carp pond.
The most important feature, however, is the house on stilts where Ho Chi Minh lived. It is said that Ho Chi Minh refused to live in the Presidential Palace as it was where the French leaders lived during their reign.
The area under the house served as a meeting place for Ho Chi Minh and members of his cabinet.
The carp pond as seen from Ho Chi Minh’s home.
Exiting the palace grounds, visitors are lead straight to the back of the mausoleum.
The grounds are controlled by guards and restrictions are strictly enforced. Chewing of gum in the area is not allowed.
Several hundred meters from the mausoleum is the Ho Chi Minh museum which houses some of the leader’s personal belongings.
Regularly patrolling the grounds are these guards in white.