Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi

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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

    by richiecdisc Updated Dec 29, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    the red flags against the gray skies were perfect

    My original feeling was to give this place a pass. The idea of some old guy laid up stiff in a glass box just did not interest me and the opening hours seemed inconvenient (8am-11am Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday/Sunday as well from December-September). We had passed it a few times while it was closed and the guards surrounding the complex seemed like real pricks and I wanted nothing to do with closer contact to them. But we had a prolonged stay in Hanoi due to TET so we decided to give it a try. After all, it is free. I am glad we did as just the spectacle of entering the sacred grounds is worth venturing there early in the morning. You have to queue up in a huge line of predominately Vietnamese visitors and it takes a while to actually get in the building. Once in, you are horded through at a steady but respectful pace. You must wear nice clothing and show the utmost respect. I was walking in what seemed such a pose, with my hands clasped behind my back when a guard nudged them apart with his small wooden club. Not only can you not have your hands in your pocket, but they must be at your sides or in front only! The dress in pure white uniforms to add to the clandestine aura and Ho Chi Minh looks quite peaceful with his wispy white beard. It’s interesting for people watching as much as for the actual sarcophagus of the embalmed great one.

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    Paying Uncle Ho a Visit

    by bpacker Updated Jan 25, 2005

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    Snake queues at Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum

    Heck, you must be wondering why I'm asking you to join a hideously long queue to see a dead body, right? Well, I don't have a thing for taxidermy but a keen fascination for kooky things. Yup, having heard so much about Ho Chi Minh, I needed to see the strange decorum surrounding his preserved body. What's this about lining up and dressing up in "proper" attire to see a corpse stiffer than a Brit's upper lip? Also, what's with the snowy white military uniformed guards?
    Well, after I've seen the place, I understood it all. The decorum was a reflection of Vietnamese pride for someone who united their country against the most powerful force in the world and made them believe in themselves again. Uncle Ho deserved the honour.

    Take note of these annoying things when you're visiting:

    1)Opening Times
    Winter 8:00-11:00, Summer 7:30-10:30
    2)Check your camera at the entrance
    3)No bare shoulders, mini-skirts or shorts allowed. Defy it and you'll be forced to buy the ghastly over-priced clothes at the entrance.
    4)Uncle Ho pays a visit to Russia every two months of the year, usually in Nov and Dec.

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    Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

    by SirRichard Written Oct 3, 2003

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    The mausoleum from the park

    Ho Chi Minh is venerated as a national hero and father of the republic. Though he requested cremation, they have built him a "sovietic style" mausoleum, that includes also a palace, museum , some parks, a traffic-free area...

    Admission free. You may find long queues, mostly locals, to see embalmed corpse of Uncle Ho.

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  • betska's Profile Photo

    Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum Complex

    by betska Updated Jan 3, 2009

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    Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum
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    The final resting place of Uncle Ho is a must-see when visiting Hanoi. It is an extremely popular pilgrimage for Vietnamese as well, so arrive early.
    Built between 1973 and 1975, the massive square structure is modelled closely on Lenin's mausoleum in Moscow.
    In front of the Mausoleum, is Ba Dinh Square, where Ho read out the Vietnamese Declaration of Independance on 2 September 1945. Coincidentally, this was also the day that Ho died in 1969
    Bags, cameras etc had to be checked in, then a 45 minute wait whilst we filed along in a very organised queue. Once inside the mausoleum, we were kept shuffling past Ho Chi Minh's body while being watched by many guards. No talking or smiling allowed, and keep moving. Placed inside a glass sarcophagus, he looked very serene and certainly very well preserved. His face & hands were lit-up with spotlights.
    Apparently he takes a 3 month 'holiday' each year to Russia, where the embalming experts give him a tidy-up. Sadly, he had actually requested in his will that he be cremated.
    In the same complex, are some houses where Ho Chi Hinh lived and worked between 1954 to 1969. We were saddened to see a beautiful peacock living in a tiny cage. Most cruel, he barely had room to turn.

    Admission may be refused if you are wearing 'indecent' clothing such as shorts, singlets etc.

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    Obey the rules

    by King_Golo Updated Oct 4, 2008

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    Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
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    Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the most important site in Hanoi for all loyal Vietnamese people. Ho Chi Minh, the nation's hero, is laid out there (btw, against his will - he wanted to be cremated!). Be prepared to see hundreds of people waiting for a short glimpse of his body. Uncle Ho is presented there for 9 months - the other 3 months of the year, his body is restaurated in Moscow. His mausoleum is a massive stone building, distantly resembling a Greek temple, but one that was built by the Soviets. It's certainly not a beautiful building, but its sheer size creates respect.

    Everybody has to obey certain rules when visiting the mausoleum, such as wearing long trousers, behaving correctly, not taking anything (including your camera) into the mausoleum. Do obey them, as the guards may become unfriendly quite quickly!

    Unfortunately, the opening times are not really tourist-friendly: they start at 7.30am and end at 10.30am!

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    National Hero

    by fachd Written Apr 28, 2008

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    When we got there it was after11am and I think the Mausoleum were being renovated. In away I am glad because I don't think I would like to see a well preserved National hero dead body on display for the public to see. My reason is very simple, it's against my principle. As far as I am concern once you die your body should be cremated or buried, it does not matter if he was a national hero, but that’s only my opinion.

    The Soviet style building is worth while for taking pictures.

    Open Hours: 8am-11am Tue-Thu, 8am-11am Sat-Sun.
    Free admission.

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  • Wild_Orchid's Profile Photo

    Respect for Uncle Ho

    by Wild_Orchid Updated Mar 31, 2005

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    shades of the Motherland

    When the father of this great nation, Ho Chi Minh, died in 1969 his body was recovered from its burial place, cleaned up, embalmed and put on display in this granite mausoleum. The influence of socialist Russia (a country that supported Vietnam after the war) is very apparent here as the mausoleum was modelled after Lenin’s tomb.

    From what I read, Ho Chi Minh had been quoted as saying "Not only is cremation good from the point of view of hygiene, but it also saves farmland." I guess Uncle Ho's followers had a different view and decided not to save the farm!

    Inspite of the changing times and the economy becoming more commercialised and market-driven, it appears that the Vietnamese continue to hold HCM in high regard because apart from the gawking tourists lining up to view the body, there were just as many locals queueing to pay their respects.

    Certainly no visit to Hanoi is complete without a visit to the Uncle Ho's mausoleum. A MUST SEE!

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  • Wild_Orchid's Profile Photo

    Come, clap your hands

    by Wild_Orchid Updated Mar 31, 2005

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    Yellow House

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day.
    Teach a man to Clap, and you'll feed him for a life-time!

    At Uncle Ho's fishing pond (this is what the tourist brochure called this huge pond next to Uncle Ho's Yellow House), we were told by our guide that Ho Chi Minh would stand by the lake and summon the fishes to come to him simply by clapping his hands. Our guide did it and the fishes came. Lo and behold, when I clapped my hands, the fishes started to slowly but surely come to me!

    Isn't it amazing? Uncle Ho really trained his fishes well. LOL

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    A Surreal Experience-HCM Part II

    by Wild_Orchid Updated Mar 31, 2005

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    HCM Mausoleum

    Uncle Ho looks very peaceful and serene, his eyes closed as if in deep slumber. The wispy white beards on his face are still and his body is white and pale, almost aglow, in the soft yellow lights. In the cool air-conditioned room, and surrounded by 4 Army Guards who stand motionless at all times, the room is hushed in enforced silence and the atmosphere is surreal.

    Footnote: In my group we had a few pharmacists who argued with us laymen that the "body" we saw could not be that of Uncle Ho. The explanation they gave is that the body lies totally uncovered (not even encased in a glass coffin), and under strong lamps, which would generate too much heat, it wouldn't take long for the body to decay. Well folks, your guess is as good as mine, but it was still a remarkable experience and a MUST SEE.

    The HCM mausoleum is only open for a few hours in the morning (not sure which days though). This is what when you get there in the afternoon, all the crowds and tour buses will be gone and the park and surrounding areas are quiet and peaceful, allowing Uncle Ho to get some well-deserved rest.

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    The Spirit...of Free Enterprise

    by Wild_Orchid Updated Mar 31, 2005

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    walking in the rain

    It was raining lightly when we got out of the bus to join the queue. Fortunately, the spirit of free enterprise was around in the form of vendors selling umbrellas, pith helmets, straw hats and bright blue rain coats that made everyone who put them on look like giant walking garbage bags! LOL

    Still better to look silly than to get wet, right? So I got myself a straw hat at US$2 and a raincoat at US$1.00 each. Later on, a bit further down the queue, we discovered that the tourist office there sold the same stuff at only a few cents. Too bad, and too late.

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    Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

    by imstress Updated Jun 14, 2005

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    HCM Mausoleum

    The Mausoleum is where Uncle Ho's embalmed body lies inside a glass case.

    Each year in early autumn, his body will be flown to Moscow for maintenance.

    It opens from 0800 to 1100 from tue to thu and over the weekends.

    The place seems so peaceful and quiet, I guess they wanted Unlce Ho to RIP.

    We heard that the house of Uncle Ho has been dismolished.

    We were fortunate to witness the changing of guards ceremony. We saw the guards just marching by.

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    Respecting Uncle Ho

    by Applelyn Written Apr 26, 2006

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    A stone carved symbol in the musuem near the Mausi
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    In it, lies Uncle Ho in his favored Khaki suit. He asked to be cremated but his wish was not granted. You have to maintain silence to in the tomb to show reverence to him. Vietnamese respected Uncle Ho a lot so only proper dress code, no shorts and sleeveless shirts, are allowed in the tomb. The mausoleum is opened from tuesdays to thursdays and saturday(8am to 11am) but it will be closed in October and November as he will go to Russia for body maintainence. Admission is free.

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  • dancinbudgie's Profile Photo

    Visit Uncle Ho

    by dancinbudgie Written May 23, 2009

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    I had big plans for visiting the mausoleum...I wanted to see the changing of the guard for one, and I also wanted to go inside and see Ho Chi Minh in the flesh (so to speak)...but me being me, I got there too late for the 'viewing'...it was shut, and I never did figure out when the guards change! I had to be content with looking from the outside. Even so, it was a revellation. I had no idea it was so huge..very imposing...and those guards, all in white and statue still!! Add to it all the soldiers patrolling the grounds making sure that no-one crosses any lines (literally), and you have one very grand experience!

    Opening times are 7.30am-10.30am. Closed Monday and Friday. Also closed for maintenance in October and November.

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  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    Have a look if you pass by.

    by kokoryko Written Jan 19, 2008

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    View over the green square
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    As many Fathers of the Nation in communist countries, Ho Chi Minh is not an exception, and adept of personality cult or not, he has his monumental mausoleum! For average people it is not possible to get closer than 50 m (I tried in evening, may be it is possible during day time), there is a big open square in front (like for Mao in Beijing), with guards and mobile fences preventing getting closer.
    A big cube with pillars around, as many mausoleums of that sort, but with a wide squared grass covered place in front, well visible in the sky. There are nice gardens on the side and the back, but you are prevented to enter (Picture 2). Grey and red granite, monumental door and uniforms on picture 3. And the guards look very serious like painted tin figurines . . . (Picture 4). On evenings, the grass is watered to have it always green! Refreshing to have a walk there(Picture5).

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  • Rodan44's Profile Photo

    See Uncle Ho in all his taxidermied glory!

    by Rodan44 Written May 30, 2004

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    Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

    Ho Chi Minh's final resting place looks a lot like the Lincoln Memorial in D.C. from the outside. Inside is the well preserved remains of the man himself, on display so that he may continue to inspire the nation. He actually looks quite peaceful in an eerie way. He is flanked by several serious looking soldiers, and unlike Uncle Ho they are alert and quite serious. You enter from one end of the room and leave from the other, continually moving and not allowed to linger or take photos. Still, it is undoubtedly a must see for any visitor to Hanoi!

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