Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum

Hanoi, Vietnam

I wasn’t at all sure I wanted to go to see the embalmed body of the leader the Vietnamese revere for liberating them. But, I went to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and it wasn’t as creepy as I feared. In fact, it was an interesting experience mainly because of the behaviour of the Vietnamese people, who were very welcoming of a foreigner in their midst, and the officiousness of the guards. Ho Chi Minh was a man of the people. He’s on display, deep inside this huge marble building with wide red carpeted steps leading inside, being guarded by the military in white uniforms. The queue is often long and it looks off-putting when you first see it, but it moves very quickly. The queue and the behaviour of visitors is strictly controlled by the guards, more so when you get close and certainly once you are inside the mausoleum (no talking, no smiling, no hands in pockets etc). There is no opportunity to linger around Ho Chi Minh. It’s definitely something to experience. Note that it’s closed for several months of the year, so check before jumping in a taxi.

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