In the tradition of Lenin, Stalin and Mao, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is a monumental marble edifice. Contrary to his desire for a simple cremation, the mausoleum was constructed from materials gathered from all over Vietnam between 1973 and 1975. Set deep in the bowels of the building in a glass sarcophagus is the frail, pale body of Ho Chi Minh.
- Do maintain an attitude of respect. Don’t talk, don’t smile, and walk slowly along with the queue into the darkened inner sanctum. The guards will not hesitate to single you out if you don’t maintain the proper attitude.
- Do come early. If you want to be ahead of the queue, it’s important to avoid the rush of people who line up early to pay their respects. The mausoleum opens at 8am, but be there by 7am.
- Don’t take pictures. Actually, you won’t be able to – the guards collect all cameras before you enter the mausoleum. You will be able to reclaim your personal effects as you leave the area.
- Don’t wear shorts. Or singlets, or sleeveless shirts. This is one of the holiest sites in Vietnam, if such a word may be used in a Communist country; dress up with a modicum of decency, and wear clothes that cover you up, even in warm weather.
From 1st April – 31st October:
- Tuesdays to Thursdays: 7.30 am to 10.30 am
- Saturday, Sunday and Public holiday: 7.30 am to 11.00 am
From 1st November – 31st March:
- Tuesdays to Thursdays: 8.00 am to 11.00 am
- Saturday, Sunday and Public holiday: 8.00 am to 11.30 am
The Mausoleum is closed on Fridays, and for a two-month stretch in autumn (October and November) as the embalmed body is sent to Russia for some preventive maintenance and touching-up.