Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum is a must-visit destination for first-time travelers to Hanoi due to its significant historical significance. It is a place of pilgrimage for those who wish to pay their respects to Ho Chi Minh, the iconic leader who led Vietnam to Independence and is affectionately known as Uncle Ho or President Ho. In addition to gaining a deeper understanding of Ho Chi Minh's life and role in Vietnamese history, visitors to the mausoleum can also expand their knowledge of Vietnam's rich past through the various components of the complex
A story about President Ho Chi Minh
President Ho Chi Minh, born on May 19th, 1890 in Nghe An province and passing away on September 2nd, 1969, was a celebrated Vietnamese national hero, revered as a revolutionary and politician. He was born with the name Nguyen Sinh Cung, later changing it to Nguyen Tat Thanh and then again to Nguyen Ai Quoc as he dedicated his life to fighting for the independence of his beloved nation.
In 1911, He moved to France and he became deeply involved in the ideology of communism. During his time there, he worked tirelessly to persuade the French government to support the cause of Vietnamese independence from the Union of Indochina. After many years in many countries, Ho Chi Minh made his return to Vietnam in 1941 via Pac Bo in Cao Bang, taking on the name that he is now widely known by - Ho Chi Minh.
President Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh played a crucial role in the establishment of the Vietnamese Communist Party and spearheaded the Vietnamese nationalist movement for nearly three decades. He served as the Prime Minister and President of North Vietnam from 1945 to 1955, and subsequently as its President from 1955 to 1969. His leadership was instrumental in the success of the Vietnamese resistance against French colonialism.
As one of the most influential communist leaders of the 20th century, Ho Chi Minh remains an enduring symbol of Vietnamese liberation and independence. Even to this day, his legacy continues to inspire people throughout Vietnam and beyond.
Visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex is among Vietnam's most significant historical landmarks, offering visitors a wealth of insights into the life and leadership of Uncle Ho, including his pivotal role in Vietnam's struggle for liberation. A visit to this complex is a must for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Vietnam's rich history and cultural heritage.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex
The complex includes:
- Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
- Ba Dinh Square
- The Presidential Palace
- The House No 54
- The House on stilts
- The One Pillar Pagoda
- Ho Chi Minh Museum
The construction of the mausoleum officially began on September 2, 1973, and was completed on August 29, 1975. The structure comprises three layers, standing 21.6 meters high and spanning a width of 41.2 meters.
The lower layer takes the shape of a three-step staircase, while the central layer houses the body chamber, the corridors, and the stairs. The exterior of the mausoleum is clad in gray granite, while the interior is polished gray and red stone. Rows of square granite columns adorn each side of the mausoleum, culminating in a triangular roof at the top.
President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
The inscription "CHU TICH HO-CHI-MINH" in pink plum-colored stone can be seen on the main side. Inside the Mausoleum, visitors will find Ho Chi Minh's famous quote "Nothing is more precious than Freedom and Independence" inscribed in gold.
On the wall, there are two flags - the Vietnamese national flag and The Communist Party flag, both of which are adorned with 4,000 pieces of rubies from Thanh Hoa Province.
The surrounding gardens showcase over 250 different plant species from all corners of Vietnam.
The fact that, when Ho Chi Minh was alive, he asked for a simple funeral, in which his body would be cremated and buried in three specific parts of Vietnam - one in the North where he worked, one in the Middle where he was born, and one in the South where he began his journey to liberate Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh's legacy is so deeply intertwined with the spirit of the Vietnamese people that they chose to deviate from his request. Instead, they held a national funeral and went to great lengths to preserve his body, a testament to the immense respect and admiration that Vietnamese people continue to have for their beloved leader.
From 1 April to 31 Oct: 7.30AM - 10.00AM
From 1 Nov to 31 March: 8.00AM - 11.00AM
Opening days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday ( Close on Monday and Friday).
Entrance Fee: Free
In Front of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is Ba Dinh Square. This was the place where on Sept 2nd 1945, Ho Chi Minh read the Vietnamese Independence Declaration to establish the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
Ba Dinh, which means "Three Communal Houses," was originally the name of a village in Thanh Hoa where the first fighting against French colonialists took place. After independence, the Square was given this name as a reminder of Vietnam's arduous but heroic resistance in the past.
Ba Dinh Square, located in the heart of Hanoi, is the largest square in Vietnam. It stretches over an area of 320 meters in length and 100 meters in width, and is adorned with 210 beautiful grass plots. At the center of the square stands the majestic flag tower, which is 29 meters high. This historic location has been witness to numerous national events, meetings, and parades over the years.
Ba Dinh Square in front of President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
One of the most solemn ceremonies that takes place here is the flag raising and lowering ceremony, which follows formal national rites. The flag is raised at 6 A.M and lowered at 9 P.M daily, and you can often see many locals standing solemnly around the square to witness these moments. It is a great opportunity to observe the patriotism and respect of the Vietnamese people towards their country and its symbols.
Opening hours: From 5.00AM to 10.00PM daily
No entrance fee
Hanoi Presidential Palace, a unique yellow three-story building with 30 rooms, was designed by Auguste Henri Vildieu, a famous French architect, in 1906. Although it was originally intended to become President Ho Chi Minh’s official residence, he chose a traditional stilt house instead.
The palace was constructed in the French architecture style and is surrounded by a lush garden, an orchard, a long boulevard, and a carp pond, providing a serene atmosphere amidst the hustle and bustle of Hanoi.
Presidential Palace in the area of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex
The Hanoi Presidential Palace's architectural beauty and historical significance have earned it a place on Architecture Digest's list of the 13 most stunning palaces in the world.
Due to the ongoing political activities at the Hanoi Presidential Palace, visitors are not permitted to enter the building. However, tourists are still able to admire its grandeur from the outside and take photos of the beautiful architecture and lush gardens.
This humble abode originally belonged to an electrician who maintained the Governor Palace. However, from 1954 to 1958, it served as President Ho's residence and workplace. Despite his position, Ho Chi Minh was known for his austere lifestyle, and most of the furnishings in this house were gifted to him by people from all over the world.
House No.54 - a historical site in Hanoi
The house has three rooms, with the first serving as a living room and also as President Ho's workspace. Ho Chi Minh was an extraordinary person with an insatiable thirst for knowledge, as evidenced by the hundreds of books neatly arranged in this room. Visitors to the house can also see a toy on his table, which symbolizes the friendship between Vietnam and the Soviet Union. Despite its small size, the house offers a glimpse into the life and values of one of the most respected leaders in Vietnamese history.
After residing in House No.54 for four years, President Ho Chi Minh moved to live in the house on stilts nearby. The design of the house resembles the stilt houses in northern mountainous areas, serving as a reminder of the arduous days when he returned to Vietnam and lived there to prepare for the Revolution.
This modest two-storey stilt house has a wooden tiled roof and measures 10.5m in length and 6.2m in width.
The first floor is an open area. There are bamboo chairs and a long table which are used for President Ho Chi Minh's workspace as well as a living room to welcome guests.
The upper floor has 2 rooms: a bedroom, a study room separated by a bookshelf. Each room is about 10sqm2 and contains essential furnishings for Ho Chi Minh's daily life. Despite its simplicity, the stilt house is surrounded by various trees and fish ponds, providing a peaceful and serene atmosphere for visitors to enjoy.
Ucle Ho's House on stilts - a simple house that President Ho Chi Minh lived and worked
The House on stilts is in the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex. Together with the House No 54, the entrance fee is 40 000 VND
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: From 7.30AM - 11.00AM and 13.30 - 16.00
Monday, Friday: Only in the morning from 7.30AM to 11.00AM
The One Pillar Pagoda, formerly known as Dien Huu Pagoda, was built in 1049 during the reign of King Ly Thai Tong. It is a unique architectural masterpiece that combines a pagoda and a tower, situated in the middle of a square lotus lake. Its distinctive appearance resembles a lotus blooming from the water.
Legend has it that King Ly Thai Tong had a dream in which he met the Goddess of Mercy, who was sitting on a lotus flower and gave him a son. To express his gratitude, the King decided to build a pagoda in the shape of a lotus flower supported by only one pillar. This dream-inspired design gave birth to the One Pillar Pagoda.
The One Pillar Pagoda - a famous point in the Hanoi city tour
Unfortunately, the original One Pillar Pagoda was destroyed and mined by French soldiers on September 11th, 1954. After Vietnam gained independence, the pagoda was reconstructed based on its original design and completed in 1955. The current One Pillar Pagoda is smaller than the original, but it still retains its unique charm and remains an important cultural and historical symbol of Hanoi.
The One Pillar Pagoda is located in the area of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex, next to the House on Stilts.
Entrance fee: Free
After President Ho Chi Minh passed away, the Vietnamese government and people expressed their desire to establish a commemorative site to honor this national hero. In response, the Politburo and the Central Committee of the Party decided to build a memorial in his honor.
Autumn 1985, the museum was built till May 1990 to complete and the inauguration ceremony of the museum was held in the place where he read the Declaration of Independence.
Ho Chi Minh museum
The Ho Chi Minh Museum serves as a testament to his life, legacy, and contributions to the Vietnamese nation. It attracts millions of visitors each year, both domestic and international, who come to learn about the man who devoted his life to the struggle for national independence and the liberation of his people.
The museum is located at 19 Ngoc Ha Str, Hanoi. It is still in the area of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex, next to the One Pillar Pagoda.
Entrance fee: 40.000 VND
Opening hours: From 8.00AM - 11.30AM and from 14.00 - 16.30 on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. It is closed on Monday and Friday.
How to go to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex ?
Located in Hung Vuong Street about 3 km from the old quarter. However, visitors have to start from the entrance gate at 19 Ngoc Ha Str.
There are various transportation options for visitors to go to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex.
Visitors can reach the mausoleum by bike or motorbike: Going along Trang Thi road to the crossroads and then turning to Dien Bien Phu street. Once on Dien Bien Phu street, visitors will arrive at Ba Dinh Square. There is a parking place at No. 19 Ngoc Ha street, which is the entrance to the Ho Chi Minh museum.
The map shows the way from Hanoi city center (Hoan Kiem Lake) to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
For those looking to save travel costs or enjoy the streets of Hanoi, there are many bus routes that stop near the mausoleum. The buses with stops closest to the mausoleum are No. 09, No. 18, and No. 33. Visitors can also refer to other bus routes such as No. 22, No. 45, and No. 50 to reach the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex.
Another easy way is that you take a Hanoi city tour from local tour operators. You will visit other beauty spots in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is one of them. Full services with a tour guide that seems to be a good choice.
What to be noted when visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum ?
Please do not make noise during your visit.
Security checked before entering Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. All electric devices such as Camera, cell phones will be collected by the guards and you will take them back right after you leave the mausoleum.
No photos or filming in the restricted areas.
Dress code: Visitors are required to wear formal clothes. Shorts, mini-skirts, Sleeveless shirts, tank tops are not allowed.
Not for children under 3 years old.
During the special days: 19 May ( Ho Chi minh's birthday) and 2 Sept ( Independent day) the Mausoleum will be too crowded.
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