Ho Chi Minh Complex
Ho Chi Minh Complex includes Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh museum, the stilt house of Ho Chi Minh, and the one-pillar pagoda.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is Uncle Ho’s final resting place set in gorgeous Ba Dinh Square, right at the heart of Hanoi. It was opened in 1975 for Vietnamese people and international guests to pay their respect to the greatest figure of Vietnamese history.
This is an imposing building made entirely of Danang marble and granite, and modeled after the Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow. Ho Chi Minh’s corpse is preserved in a glass case in the central hall with four guards at four corners.
With his usual khaki clothes and rubber sandals, he lies there peacefully in eternal sleep. Uncle Ho wished that after his death, his ash will be placed in three urns and buried under tree planted on top of three hills in the north, centre and south of Vietnam. This was to seal the reunification of the country. At the time of his pass away (1969), the south of Vietnam is still in war and the Vietnam Communist Party and northerners agreed that his body must be embalmed so that the southerners would had the chance to meet him when the country was reunited. It happened in 1975, and now even international travelers got the opportunity to pay their respect to this greatest hero of Vietnam.
The mausoleum is a sacred place so you must dress formally, no shorts and sleeveless shirts. Also, you are not permitted to bring hats, bags, phones and cameras inside with you. They must be deposited at two separate counters in the main entrance.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is situated right in front of Ba Dinh Square, where Uncle Ho read the Vietnam Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945. This impressive square with its vast green lawns offers spectacular view over the building. The mausoleum opens in morning every day in week, except Monday and Friday.
Ho Chi Minh Museum
Ho Chi Minh Museum is situated in a large compound that also comprises Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Ho Chi Minh Residence. It is on the left of One Pillar Pagoda and just few steps to Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi’s center.
The museum was built in 1985 and established on May 19, 1990 to celebrate Uncle Ho’s 100th birthday. This is one of several constructions marking Vietnam and Soviet Union cooperation. The exhibits of Ho Chi Minh Museum also received help of the V.I Lenin Museum in Moscow.
Covering an area of 18,000 m2, Ho Chi Minh Museum becomes the largest and most modern museum in Vietnam. Its unique architecture, elegantly designed as a white lotus with five petals, blends well with its airy and lush ambiance. This is one of the most impressive structures in Hanoi.
There are 3 main exhibition spaces with rich collections of 3,000 paintings, 700 artifacts and thousands of books and documents. The central hall is highlighted with a huge bronze statue of Uncle Ho. His right hand is raised and behind him, there is a sun rising out of clouds, symbolizing his illuminating thoughts and ideas. The main parts are biographical exhibits of the glorious life and career of Ho Chi Minh from his childhood to his demise. There are also thematic exhibits of Vietnam Communist Revolution.
Ho Chi Minh Museum is based on not only informative but also conceptual or rhetoric displays. These, however, are interesting and comprehensible for international visitors with demonstrations in English, French, Russian and Chinese.
The museum has welcomed nearly 20 million visitors since its opening. This is a must-see place for international travelers in Hanoi.
One Pillar Pagoda
The iconic One Pillar Pagoda is right next to Ho Chi Minh Museum, around half an hour walking from the Old Quarter. The original pagoda was built in 1049 by King Ly Thai To. According to a legend, when the King was quite old, he still had no son in succession. One night, he dreamed of the Goddess of Mercy sitting on a lotus with a male child in her lap to give him. Soon after that, his wife gave birth to a boy. The King was so thrilled that he ordered to construct a pagoda in shape of a lotus to worship the goddess. Unfortunately, the pagoda was seriously destroyed during repeated wars. A new one was erupted in 1955 as its exact replica. With unique architecture and legendary beauty, One Pillar Pagoda should be a highlight of your Hanoi trip.
The Silt House of Ho Chi Minh
Uncle Ho’s Home is nestled in a peaceful garden right behind the Presidential Palace. After coming back to Hanoi from Viet Bac base, he chose not to stay in that gorgeous colonial building but in this small and simple stilt house.
The house comprises three rooms full of air and light. The ground floor is reserved for meetings and the first floor is separated into a bedroom and a study room. There remain some objects of his daily use.
In front of the house, there is a little lake with thousands of fish raised by Uncle Ho. Behind it is an exquisite garden full of valuable fruit trees collected from different regions of Vietnam or imported from other countries.
Uncle Ho’s home is a must-visit place that gives you deeper understandings about the life of the Vietnam’s most respected leader.
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