Posted by Megan:
We got up early to head out to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex in Hanoi. We arrived at 7.30am to see a queue stretching for miles (no exaggeration). Ju didn’t want to brave it so I joined the tail of the queue on my own while she went for a wander around the area.
I felt really out of place as I didn’t see any foreigners….just hundreds of Vietnamese of all ages. There are strict rules to enter the Mausoleum, long sleeved clothes, no hats, no cameras and the people moved in an orderly straight line in the queue. The queue moved very quickly as we shuffled through the complex. It was interesting to see the deep respect and admiration the Vietnamese have for the man who is known for liberating the Vietnamese from colonialism. He is affectionately known as “Uncle Ho”. The guards dressed in white uniforms obviously took their job very seriously. Interestingly, the mausoleum is closed for 3 months of the year while Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed corpse goes to Russia for maintenance.
Afterwards I wandered through Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House and Presidential Palace and gardens. We raced back to the hotel to go back out to the train station to get our 10am train to Ninh Binh.