Ho Chi Minh
"This was the first thing I wanted to do in Hanoi, and was very pleased to find it open on New Year's Day(Chinese - a huge celebration in Vietnam). I found the guards quite friendly, and willing to direct me to the right place. You have to show proper respect - no shorts or bare arms, head uncovered, and you leave cameras etc with security, You also have to keep walking, although slowly. I was pleased I went, I thought it was an important thing to do and did not meet any problems."
Following the tradition - of the great world leaders Stalin, Lenin, Mao lies the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh laid out in a monumental marble mausoleum. Ho Chi Minh did not want to be laid out in an impressive building; his wish was to be cremated when he died in 1969. But... they collected material from all angles in Vietnam to build the mausoleum. They built the mausoleum between 1973 and 1975
Ho Chi Minh (also known as "Uncle Ho"), led the Vietnamese liberation movement (the Vietcong) in the fight against the Americans and was the first president of North Vietnam. For many Vietnamese, this mausoleum is an important place and it is one of the most visited sites in Hanoi.
The queue of men, women and children for the impressive mausoleum is usually a few hundred meters long. Inside the mausoleum it's forbidden to talk, take pictures, to carry a bag with you to eat and keep your hands in your pockets. So .... backpacks, cameras and phones, you can hand them at the entrance to the guards.
Wearing shorts, tops or hats, it is not allowed. Everyone needs to keep on walking when you're inside the mausoleum. It goes slowly but at a steady pace.
And finally ..... ..... deep in the bowels of the mausoleum lies in a glass sarcophagus the frail, pale body of Ho Chi Minh. You walk silently past the embalmed body. The mausoleum is usually closed on 4 September - 4 november. His embalmed body will then go to Russia for maintenance.
The steadily continuing row....
If you're lucky, you can see changing of the guards at the mausoleum of Uncle Ho. That is an impressive event that resembles the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.
The mausoleum is located just north of the center of town on the Ba Dinh Square. It is not far from the One Pillar Pagoda. At this square Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence before, after the surrendering of Japan in 1945.
The building is 21.6 meters high and has a length of over 41 meters. Ho Chi Minh lies in the middle of the building. Despite his wish to be cremated. He thought, that it would be more hygienic and it would save farmland. Ho Chi Minh can be seen in the mornings. However, there are strict rules in the mausoleum. So there should be no photographing or filming. There are also rules on dress and behavior. For example, the legs should be covered, in both men and women. One must walk in two rows and one must be absolutely silent.
From a travel blog:
"It's a very solemn and sober place, your behaviour and dress must reflect this. It would help when visiting to have an understanding of Ho Chi Minhs place in history, particularly to the Vietnamese.
I would suggest you might just want to take photos of the mausoleum, square and very smart soldiers without actually queuing to get in!"