Experience the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex

Hanoi covers centuries of history and cultural background. Represented through museums and historical buildings, the capital of Vietnam dedicates an entire complex to the great Ho Chi Minh through the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Presidential Palace area and the Ho Chi Minh Museum. An entire complex that retells the life of the man who is a part of the history of Vietnam. But first, let’s introduce him to those who don’t know him.

Who is Ho Chi Minh?

portrait of ho chi minh
Portrait of Ho Chi Minh

First and former president of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh is also known to be the hero and Great father of the nation as he led the country to its independence and its reunification. During his whole life, he had an important role for the country as he also created the actual Communist Party and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

That’s why the Vietnamese nickname him Uncle Ho, and also Saigon became Ho Chi Minh City after the victory of the Communists. In cities, museums, pagodas or even on bank notes appear statues or pictures of him. Died in 1969, now his body is embalmed in a mausoleum in Hanoi.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

hanoi ho chi minh mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi

The mausoleum is located in the district of Ba Dinh at 3km (1.8 miles) away from the Old Quarter and is one of the must-sees in Hanoi. In the middle of Ba Dinh Square, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is very solemn. Expect people ready to queue for a long time to see Uncle Ho. The objective of its construction in 1975 was to symbolize national unity. Visitors entering the building are usually impressed by the calmness and the purity of this place and can feel how huge the respect for Ho Chi Minh is in Vietnam. Plus, every year, they close the mausoleum for several months as they send the embalmed corpse to Russia for maintenance.

Tips before entering the mausoleum

First, you’ll see that the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is protected very well by guards, and even for touching the red fence or getting too close to the limit, you’ll get warned by a whistle from the guards. However, before entering the building you have to respect certain rules. As a result, make sure to take note of the dress code and what you mustn’t do.

  • First, wear appropriate attire: shoulders and legs must be covered so only T-shirts and shorts that cover your knees are allowed.
  • Then, do not talk when passing by the corpse.
  • At last, pictures and videos are forbidden. So, all devices must be turned off.

Entrance fee: free

Opening time:
Every day except on Monday and Friday.

Opening hours:
Saturday, Sunday & bank holiday: 7.30 -11 am
Summer: 7.30-10.30 am
Winter: 8-11 am

Did you know?

Initially, after his death, Ho Chi Minh wished for his body to be cremated and his ashes to be split into 3 urns to be buried at the top of a hill in the north, the centre and the south of Vietnam. This would have symbolised the reunification of the 3 regions. However, his wish didn’t come true as the Party decided to follow the same process of Lenin. After his death in 1924, Russian scientists decided to embalm his body and place him into a mausoleum.

Presidential Palace Area

Credits: HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images

Besides the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, just behind it, you’ll find the Presidential Palace complex where HCM had spending time for his last 15 years. This is a complex gathering a beautiful big garden and the key buildings such as the Presidential Palace* where he was working, the Stilt House or also the Flower trellis where he used to receive his guests. Therefore, visitors can discover a bit of his work life.

*You can’t visit the Presidential Palace but it’s still possible to see it from afar and take pictures

Entrance fee: 40,000 VND ($1,70)

Opening time:
Every day except on Monday and Friday afternoon

Opening hours:
Summer: 7.30-11 am / 1.30- 4pm
Winter: 8- 11 am/ 1.30- 4pm

Ho Chi Minh Museum

Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi

Then, your next stop after the Presidential Palace area is the museum that retells his life from his youth to his death by way of the time he created the Communist Party and led the country to its independence. Full of events that had a big impact on the history of Vietnam, the museum gives the opportunity for visitors to learn more about it and how Ho Chi Minh made the country as it is now. Also, during your stay in Vietnam, there are other fascinating museums for you to visit related to the history of Vietnam. Have a look around!

Entrance fee: 40,000 VND ($1.70)

Opening time:
Every day except on Monday and Friday afternoon

Opening hours:
Every day: 8 am-12pm / 2-4.30 pm
Monday and Friday: 8 am-12 pm

Make sure to add the Ho Chi Minh Complex to your essential Vietnam tour plan 😉