Hanoi, Vietnam



Ho Chi Minh Sites

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Open: Tue-Thr and Sat-Sun from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (last entrance 10:15 p.m.). Admission: Free.
The city down south (Ho Chi Minh City) may have his name but only Hanoi has the man himself, entombed in distinct Lenin-style fashion - against his wishes, but that's how it goes. No talking, revealing clothes (shorts should be knee length and no exposed shoulders) or other signs of disrespect are allowed while viewing the body of Ho Chi Minh. Photos are allowed only from outside, in the grand Ba Dinh Square.
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Purses are allowed into the tomb but expect them to be searched by several bored soldiers along the way. Left luggage is handled in a complicated scheme - there is an office near the street for large bags, with separate windows for Vietnamese and foreigners. There is a further office for cameras, which will be transported to a third office right outside the exit of the mausoleum. Items checked in at the first office, however, will stay there. Note that small digital cameras can be taken into the mausoleum despite their use not being permitted inside. Note that the mausoleum is closed for a few months around the end of the year, when the body is taken out for maintenance.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum by Hoangvantoanajc

Ho Chi Minh Museum
19 Ngoc Ha St, Ba Dinh. 
Open: Tue-Thr and Sat-Sun from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m and from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission: 25,000 dong
This gleaming white museum is the perfect chaser to the solemnity of the mausoleum. The building, completed in 1990, is intended to evoke a white lotus. It is one of the more informative museums in Vietnam, albeit with a high dose of personality cult and political propaganda. The main exhibition space is located on the third floor. Exhibits include cars crashing through walls to represent the chaos of post-war American capitalism, soldiers charging around with electric plugs, a cave hideout re-imagined as the inside of Ho Chi Minh's brain, and several other post-modern confections. Guides are available in English, French, Chinese and Russian but don't bother since the displays are also labelled in English and French.

Ho Chi Minh Museum by Hara

Ho Chi Minh's Vestige
No.1 Bach Thao, Ba Dinh. Open: 
Summer - 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Winter - 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed on Monday and Friday afternoons. Admission: 25,000 dong.
The exit from the mausoleum takes you right into the grounds where Ho Chi Minh once lived and worked from 1954 until his death in 1969. The nicely landscaped complex includes two of Ho Chi Minh's houses, kept shiny and "as he left them" by the authorities, as well as a garage with two of Ho's "used cars" and a carp-filled pond. The Presidential Palace is also nearby, but it's not always open to visitors. Pamphlets are available in English, Chinese, French and Korean. Guided tours are usually available if you wait. Paying is not enforced unless you are one of the unlucky few to be outed from the crowd. 
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