During one of my weekend adventures in Hanoi, I decided to do something unusual. Nope, I didn’t decide to befriend other tourists or try to find love. Instead, I simply decided to make a wrong turn on purpose (and ended up at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum). See, my usual route 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. This time, however, I actually DID!
So, instead of turning left towards the market to grab some lunch, I went 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 and was the leading figure in the country’s independence. His mausoleum is one of Vietnam’s most important spots.
The mausoleum sits in front of massive open space.
The mausoleum is very close to the Presidential Palace where Ho Chi Minh lived. His body, which rests inside the structure, is available for viewing. Rules and guidelines for visitors are strictly enforced, however.
Surrounding the mausoleum are other important cultural, political, and historical structures. This yellow building, for example, features distinct French architecture.
This modern structure is the Vietnam National Assembly House.
Access to the Presidential Palace is not allowed. However, the public can access the grounds. 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. According to some articles I read, Ho Chi Minh did not live in the Presidential Palace as it was where the French leaders lived during their reign.
The area under the house was where Ho Chi Minh and the members of his cabinet met.
Here is 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.
Controlling the grounds are these guards in white. Strict rules are in place in the area. Chewing gum, for example, is not allowed.
Several hundred meters from the mausoleum is the Ho Chi Minh Museum which houses the leader’s personal belongings.
These guards in white regularly patrol the grounds.