Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi
These attractions can be grouped together in that Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is situated on the edge of the Ba Dinh Square.
The square itself is a wide open and paved space and the focal point is of course the mausoleum and a giant flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. There is a large grassy area with pathways separating Hung Vuong Street and the paved area of the square.
The square is where Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence to a crowd of a half million people on the 2nd of September, 1945 and it is here at Ba Dinh Square that “Independence” is celebrated with military parades each year on National Day, September 2nd.
I didn’t visit the interior of the mausoleum as it was a FRIDAY and it’s NOT OPEN to the public on FRIDAYS.
If it’s YOUR intention to pay respects to Ho Chi Minh then don’t expect to be able to if you’re visiting on a FRIDAY…
I was more curious than anything and I was quite happy to see a place that pays homage to such a revered man in the history of Vietnamese culture and history. I'm pretty sure that I would not really want to pay a visit to his corpse anyhow. The guards that are on duty are smartly dressed in clean white uniforms and in spite of some comments that I’ve read about the ugliness of the building I was impressed with the strength it portrayed, at least in my eyes.
You can get yourself to Ba Dinh Square by following Hung Vuong Street , there is vehicle stopping permitted just west of Hung Vuong on a side street named Ong Ich Khiem St. I used a Xe Onm to get myself there, and walked around the area.
In addition to these two attractions you are within easy walking distance to the National War Memorial, The One Pillar Pagoda, and the Ho Chi Minh Museum.
The area around Ba Dinh Square seems almost like Vietnam’s Mecca. It was here that Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam’s independence and where his body now lays in rest. Vietnamese (and foreigners) flock to the site to view Uncle Ho’s body and see the Presidential Palace, Uncle Ho’s former residence, and the Ho Chi Minh Museum. Seeing how simply Ho Chi Minh lived, it’s difficult to reconcile the mausoleum where he now lies.
Ba Dinh Square is a giant concrete open area that resonates communism. On one side is the big, blocky National Assembly Building while the other side has a nice park with the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. The day I was here, there were hammer and sickle emblems in evidence and guards at frequent intervals.
In September 1945, Uncle Ho read the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence to a large group of citizens in this square.