Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is an important historical attraction of Hanoi, known for honoring the national hero: President Ho Chi Minh.It is a large building located in the center of Ba Dinh Square, where Minh, Chairman of the Communist Party of Vietnam from 1951 until his death in 1969, read the Declaration of Independence on 2 September 1945, establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. It is also known as Ba Đình Mausoleum and is open to the public.
About Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is an important historical attraction of Hanoi, known for honoring the national hero: President Ho Chi Minh. The building is where visitors can express their admiration and gratitude towards the common father/uncle of Vietnamese who has led the country to independence and reunification. It is popularly known among Vietnamese as Uncles’ Mausoleum, for the intimate and familiar atmosphere Ho Chi Minh always created when he was alive. Built over 2 years from 1973 to 1975, the Mausoleum is also a lively illustrator of national unity.
The structure is 21.6 meters (70.9 feet) high and 41.2 meters (135.2 feet) wide. Flanking the mausoleum are two platforms with seven steps for parade viewing. The plaza in front of the mausoleum is divided into 240 green squares separated by pathways. The gardens surrounding the mausoleum have nearly 250 different species of plants and flowers, all from different regions of Vietnam.
The embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh is preserved in the cooled, central hall of the mausoleum, which is protected by a military honour guard. The body lies in a glass case with dim lights. The mausoleum is closed occasionally while work is done to restore and preserve the body but is normally open to the public every morning. Lines of visitors, including visiting foreign dignitaries, pay their respects at the mausoleum every day. Rules regarding dress and behavior are strictly enforced by staff and guards. Legs must be covered (no shorts or miniskirts). Visitors must be silent and walk in two lines. Hands must not be in pockets, nor arms crossed. Smoking, drinking, eating, photography and video taping are also not permitted anywhere inside the mausoleum.
The materials that constitute the building, from exterior granite to interior wood, were contributed by people from all over the country. Even the garden that surrounded the Mausoleum has a collection of plants and bonsais donated from all regions in Vietnam. This shows the Vietnamese’s wish to forever keep their dear father/grandfather company. In fact, the construction of the Mausoleum was against Ho Chi Minh’s will. As he passed away, he wished to be cremated and his cremation to be scattered all over the country, so that land can be saved for agricultural production.
Visiting the Mausoleum is free of charge but involves a set of strictly enforced regulations. No short skirts or tank tops are allowed and there is high level of security check upon arrival. Day packs can be put in a safe deposit before you enter but make sure you do not carry many valuable items with you. Taking photos, talking or finger-pointing are strictly prohibited inside the mausoleums.
The mausoleum might be closed occasionally for maintenance so check before you go.