I. INTRODUCTION OF HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM
Located in the heart of Ba Dinh Square (Hanoi, Vietnam), Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the final resting place of President Ho Chi Minh – the greatest and most iconic leader of Vietnam. Being one of the most important historical attractions of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is where people honor, show the gratitude and express the admiration toward Ho Chi Minh. In addition, around Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Vietnamese hold a lot of major national events such as Millennial Anniversary of Hanoi, Mutual Celebration of Independence Day, and Festival to celebrate President Ho Chi Minh’s Birthday. Now, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is open for both domestic and foreign tourists to visit.
II. THE CONSTRUCTION OF HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum was constructed on September 2nd, 1973 and completed on August 29th, 1975. The construction of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum was carried out very carefully and was contributed to and supported by all Vietnamese people, both domestic and foreign. The mausoleum was at the heart of Ba Dinh Square where President Ho Chi Minh held a lot of important meeting when alive. This square was also the venue where he proclaimed the 3rd Declaration of Independence of Vietnam on September 2nd, 1945.
1. The preparation for the design of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
The Urban Planning and Management under the direction of Nguyen Luong Bang, Tran Quoc Hoan, and Phung The Tai devised pan to construct the mausoleum after President Ho Chi Minh’s funeral. January 1970, Soviet Union Government sent the experienced delegation to Vietnam in order to give advice on the structural engineering, structural design, and construction supplement. The Soviet Profession presented 5 plans for the design of the mausoleum.
The information of building the mausoleum spread rapidly in entire Vietnam. Then, people from both North and South Vietnam and even oversea residents from all over the world sent letters to show their desires and contribute to the fulfilling the construction plan. Afterward, there was a competition for designing the mausoleum of President Ho Chi Minh. All the outstanding draft designs were exhibited to collect the opinions of the community.
From May 1970 to August 1970, more than 200 designs were sent to the competition, 24 ones of which were presented in the exhibition in Hanoi, Hai Phong, Thai Nguyen, Son Lan, and Nghe An District. There were over 745,487 people visiting the exhibition and more than 34,002 voted. Three weeks later, the final design of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum was approved by Vietnamese Politburo and Soviet Delegation. In a nutshell, only the design of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum took more than 2 years.
2. The construction of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a magnitudinous construction of the nation as well as one of the most special sites in Vietnam. The building material of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum was brought from many regions of the country. The sand was taken manually by Muong ethnic minority from the stream in Kim Tien Commune, Kim Boi Ward, Hoa Binh District and from Thanh Xuyen Ward, Thai Nguyen District. Cobblestones were carried from the stream in Son Duong Area, Chiem Hoa Commune, Ngoi Thia Ward, Tuyen Quang District. Other types of stone were chosen from many regions such as Thanh Hoa, red stones from Marble Mountain, break-stone from Thac Ba Waterfall, and marble stone from Thay Pagoda.
Meanwhile, the locals living along the Truong Son Mountain delivered 16 types of valuable wood. Countless types of trees were sent from entire Vietnam to plant around Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, namely vernacular (from Hung Kings’ Temple), White Butterfly Tree (from Dien Bien District), bamboo (from Cao Bang District), etc. Vietnamese young people launched many campaigns to plant trees, cut grass and sharpening stone. The light and electric system for designing and building the mausoleum as well as reserve the embalmed body of President Ho Chi Minh was undertaken by the Soviet professions. Soviet Government also sent 20,000 tons of flat pointing marble stone to decorate the mausoleum.
III. INFRASTRUCTURE & DESIGN OF HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM
1. Appearance & Design of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is box-shaped with the 300-meter square side. The entrance door faces the East. In the North and South sides, there are two 65 –meter ceremony halls for special events. In front of the mausoleum is the Ba Dinh Square with a path for reviewing troops and parade. There is also a 380-meter greensward. It is divided into 240 small squares which are green all year around. At the top Of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the letters which were made of dark red gemstone “Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh” (President Ho Chi Minh).
The entrance door was made of the valuable wood from Central Highlands of Vietnam. The lobby of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum stoned by granite with red and pink pattern highlights the letters “Không có gì quý hơn Độc lập Tự do” (Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom) together with the signature overlaid with the gold of President Ho Chi Minh. All of 200 doors inside Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum were made of the precious wood from South Vietnam, Central Highlands, and the area from Quang Nam to Danang District. Those woods were delivered by the soldier of Truong Son Mountain. Then, they were carved and sculptured by the workmanship and skillful carpenters of Nam Ha, Ha Bac, and Nghe An District. The door to the room where the embalmed body of President Ho Chi Minh was placed was created by a father-and-son carpenter of the Gia Hoa Hamlet.
2. Inside Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi, Vietnam
At the heart of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the marble-stoned room where the body of President Ho Chi Minh is preserved. Hang on the wall are two Vietnamese national flags and the flag of Communist Party of Vietnam which was made of 4,000 pieces of gemstone taken from Thanh Hoa District. The yellow star and symbol of Communist Party were made of citrine stones.
The embalmed body of President Ho Chi Minh was placed in the glass casket. This casket was the wholehearted artwork of many talented, outstanding workmen of both Vietnam and Soviet. The bed made from copper features lotus-shaped pattern. Three sides of the bed were made of toughened glass. Through the transparent glass, the visitor can see President Ho Chi Minh in the faded khaki and his foot wearing a simple pair of rubber sandal. Normally, there are four people standing guard. The
3. Outside Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi, Vietnam
At both sides of the main door are two plumeria tree sending out the good smell into the air. In the front of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum grows 79 green viva trees which symbolize the age of 79 years old of President Ho Chi Minh. There are two line of bamboo which is a symbol of Vietnamese people in the South and North sides of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Opposite to the front side of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the Flag Tower of Hanoi. The rite of the hoisting of flag often happens at 6:00 every morning and the lowering of the flag happens at 21:00 every day. After coming across the greensward, you will meet the Bac Son Street where countless red and pink roses are blossoms all year around. At the end of the Bac Son Street is the monument of the martyr. In the West side of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the exhibition of souvenir. You can also find here Ho Chi Minh Museum and the stilt house where President Ho Chi Minh lived and worked when alive.
IV. HOW TO GET TO HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM
1. Getting to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum by taxi
No one can deny the advantage of the taxi when traveling in a foreign country. Traveling by taxi is flexible, convenient and doesn’t require you to remember the way. The distance from Hanoi Old Quarter is very short; therefore, the taxi fee is not high. You can book a taxi by asking the front-desk staff of your hotel as well as take directly on the way. Alternatively, you can use the app Grab to take a taxi.
Here is information about some reliable taxi companies in Hanoi:
2. Getting to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum by motorbike
Motorbike is a kind of specialty of Vietnam. Driving a motorbike around Hanoi Old Quarter and then heading to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is not a bad idea. To get to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum by motorcycle, you should follow this route:
To begin with, you drive to the end Hang Bong Street where you will turn right to meet Dien Bien Phu Street. Then, go straight ahead until you meet a crossroad. Just turn left to Le Hong Phong Street. From now on, remember to look at the right side until you find road sign with letters “Hùng Vương”. Hung Vuong Street is where Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is located. However, you have to travel a bit farther to Ong Ich Khiem Street to find a parking lot which is opposite to Hanoi High Command and near the entrance of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ngoc Ha Street.
You can rent a motorbike from your hotel. If not, let’s drop in some following motorbike rental shops:
3. Getting to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum by private car
If you travel in the group of 4 or five people, renting a private car is a great choice. This mode of transport will bring you the comfort, safety, and flexibility. When getting to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum by private car, you will follow the same route with the motorbike route I mentioned above. Here are some reliable private car rental shops in Hanoi:
V. THINGS TO DO WHEN VISITING HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM
1. Visiting the inside of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi
From the entrance door close to Ho Chi Minh Museum, you’ll follow the line of people heading to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. There is a long lobby along which you will go until you meet Ong Ich Khiem Street. Next, turn left to One Pillar Pagoda. Then, the majestic Ba Dinh Square, as well as the solemn mausoleum of President Ho Chi Minh, will appear in front of your eyes. All you need to do is following the line of people. When you’re inside of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, remember to follow the direction sign. It’s is a one-way route, hence when going out you will head to another door.
2. Visiting the palace of President Ho Chi Minh
In spite of being called “the Palace of President Ho Chi Minh”, there is only a small, simple stilt house located at the heart of the beautiful garden. President a perfect symbol is a perfect symbol of modesty, simplicity, and integrity. Despite being the leader of a country, President Ho Chi Minh lived and worked in a small, simple house and among the beauty of nature. He not only being wholehearted for his country and the labor all over the world but also loved nature passionately.
Around his stilt house was a pretty garden with a lot of different trees and flower, all of which were thoroughly taken care of by his hands every morning. Now the garden is preserved carefully every day. Walking around the garden will help you release and leave behind all the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. There is also a small pond which is home to hundreds of colorful ornamental fish. In the past, President Ho Chi Minh used to feed the fish in this pond every morning. Walking around the palace of President Ho Chi Minh, you can immerse in the peaceful and cool atmosphere. In addition, you’ll have a golden chance of learning more about the life of President Ho Chi Minh – one of the greatest leaders of both Vietnam and the world.
3. Visiting the Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi
Ho Chi Minh Museum is the magnificent library exhibiting objects and reserving a lot of documents of daily life as well as political activities of President Ho Chi Minh. President Ho Chi Minh is not only the great national hero but also Great Personality of the world. Hence, when visiting Ho Chi Minh Museum, you will have a golden chance of learning more about history, politics, and culture.
Ho Chi Minh Museum is 20 meters high. The total area of this museum is up to 13,000 m2, 4,000 m2 of which is spent on the exhibition. In addition, there is an area of 400 m2 for celebrating professional exhibition together with many other cultural events.
The front hall of 360 m2 is where people place a copper statue of President Ho Chi Minh. When entering the main area of Ho Chi Minh Museum, you can admire two workmanship artworks presenting the tradition of building and protecting country. The exhibition area of the museum shows the priceless documents, historical objects which are about the life, career, and revolution of President Ho Chi Minh. Those objects also show the process of executing the will of President Ho Chi Minh. There is also a model of the house of the family and home village of President Ho Chi Minh.
VI. WHERE TO VISIT AROUND HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM
1. Visiting One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi Vietnam
After visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, you should spend time visiting some nearby places and experience many interesting things to do in Hanoi. One Pillar Pagoda is one of the most famous historic Buddhist temples in the capital of Vietnam. Also, One Pillar Pagoda together with the Perfume Pagoda is considered the most iconic temples of Vietnam.
According to the remained document, the architecture of this pagoda originated from the period prior to the Ly Dynasty. Located off the base of the old Tay Cam Garden of the Captial Thang Long, One Pillar Pagoda was made of wood. Inside the pagoda is the statue of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva. After several renovations, One Pillar Pagoda now comprises a stone lotus-lotus fountain which is 3-meter square. Featuring a curvy line, This fountain is placed on a pillar which is 4 meters high (not mentioned the underwater part) and has the diameter of 1.2 meters. There are two stone columns piled together. At the top of the pillars, there are many wooden bars to hold the above tower.
The lotus fountain has a tile roof which is curved at four opposite corners. Above the fountain is the model of dragon and Phoenix which symbolizes for the power and authority.
2. Visiting the Temple of Literature, Hanoi
Temple of Literature is the most diverse Historical Relics of Hanoi, Vietnam. Temple of Literature was constructed under the time of the King Ly Thanh Tong in order to honor and worship Confucius, sages, and scholar. It’s also the first university located in the South Citadel of Thang Long, Vietnam. Being one of 23 special national relics, Temple of Literature consists of Van Lake (Literature Lake), Constellation of Literature Pavilion, Constellation of Literature pavilion, The Great Middle Gate, The Great Portico, Attained Talent Gate, Accomplished Virtue Gate, Crystallization of Letters Gate, Magnificence of Letters Gate, Well of Heavenly Clarity, and Stele of Doctors.
The highlight of the Temple of Literature, Hanoi is 82 stone turtles made of blue marble. In the backs of those turtles are the styles to honor and encourage the successful bachelors. According to Vietnamese beliefs, the turtle is the symbol of longevity and wisdom. In 2009, 85 stone steles of Temple of Literature were recognized as World Heritage Site by UNESCO
VII. MUST-KNOW TIPS WHEN VISITING HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM
- The open time of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum varies the weekday to the weekend and from the summer and the winter. Therefore, remember to check the open hour carefully before starting your trips.
- Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a magnitude place relating to the politics; therefore there are many rules for people visiting it. Remember to obey them strictly
- Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a solemn and majestic site where people show the gratitude and express the admiration toward the greatest national hero. Therefore, you have to wear formally and politely.
- Remember to keep quiet and watch your mouth when visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
- You aren’t allowed to use the phone and take pictures when visiting the inside of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
- Please don’t litter and keep everything clean
- When visiting the palace of President Ho Chi Minh, please preserve and maintain the garden. Don’t pluck leaves nor tread on the flower-beds and grassland.
- You must not feed the ornamental fish in the pond
- Bring an umbrella because it’s often sunny and hot here