The Mausoleum, built shortly after independence in 1975, is a homage to the great revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh. It is dedicated to the Nationalist Socialist ideals of Vietnam and the struggle against anti-colonialism.
Taken from the idea that something incorrupt should not naturally decay, Ho Chi Minh’s corpse has been embalmed and is on display at the mausoleum. This square is a dedication to Uncle Ho, and this site is where the revolutionary leader lies. All locals are expected to pay homage to this site at least once in their life. It is one of the most visited sites in Vietnam.
Embalming is a tradition that goes back many years. It allows the body of legendary people to be preserved. This then allows a legend such as Ho Chi Minh to look as did when he was alive. The same is evident with other famous leaders of the same ideology. Across the world, Mao Zedong and Hugo Chavez can be viewed in a mausoleum in their respective countries, China and Venezuela. The formula for embalming is a secretive formula which comes from former Soviet Russia.
The Mausoleum is open all-year-round. Citizens from all over Vietnam come to pay respects every day. Foreign visitors are welcome. Be prepared to walk in a slow line and not to stop at any time. People need to show respect. No photos are to be taken. Long sleeves and long trousers only. No bare feet. Follow the orders of the revolutionary guard. Failure to do so could stop visitors from being admitted. This isn’t something you see or experience in the West. It’s a captivating and sombre moment.
The Ho Chi Mausoleum is located at 2 Hung Vuong, Dien Ban, Ba Dinh. Opening hours are 07:30-10:30 Mon-Sun. Closed on Friday.