Mike Aquino is a travel writer covering Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. He lives in Manila full-time, but is perfectly at trang chủ in a Singapore hawker center.

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To enter the Ho bỏ ra Minh Mausoleum, you"ll have lớn join a snaking queue of locals & tourists waiting to enter. The queues to lớn visit the inner sanctum can get quite long, và the wait can be interminable - visiting the Ho bỏ ra Minh Mausoleum is a highlight for many locals" visits lớn the capital, và very few Vietnamese visiting Hanoi pass up a chance for a pilgrimage to the father of their country.

Tourists are expected khổng lồ surrender bags và cameras before entering the mausoleum; if you're part of a tour, you'll hand them over to your guide. Then you wait as the line slowly files through the door into the inner sanctum.

Inside the Ho đưa ra Minh Mausoleum, Ho's body toàn thân lies in state under a glass sarcophagus, overseen by an honor guard of four sentries standing at each corner of the bier. The embalmed body is extraordinarily well preserved, & dressed in a khaki suit. His face & hands are illuminated with spotlights; the rest of the room is dimly lit.

Great respect must be shown while entering. Chattering, hurried movements, và indecent attire will be singled out by the mausoleum guards. Visitors are expected khổng lồ keep quiet và walk slowly & steadily through the mausoleum.

Upon your exiting the Mausoleum, you can continue your "re-education" in the Ho bỏ ra Minh mythology by visiting the nearby Ho đưa ra Minh Museum, which contains an tài khoản of the man"s life as told in allegory & his personal effects, & the Presidential Palace, on which grounds Ho đưa ra Minh lived after taking nguồn (he never really moved in, contenting himself with living in the former electrician"s quarters, then in a custom-built stilt house from the 1950s till his death).

Do's & Don't's

Do maintain an attitude of respect. Don't talk, don't smile, và walk slowly along with the queue into the darkened inner sanctum. The guards will not hesitate to lớn single you out if you don't maintain the proper attitude.

Do come early. If you want to lớn be ahead of the queue, it's important to lớn avoid the rush of people who line up early lớn pay their respects. The mausoleum opens at 8am, but be there by 7am.

Don't take pictures. Actually, you won't be able lớn - the guards collect all cameras before you enter the mausoleum. You will be able khổng lồ 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, và wear clothes that cover you up, even in warm Vietnam weather.

When to Visit

The Ho đưa ra Minh Mausoleum is located in tía Dinh Square, & is easily (and best) accessible via taxi. Admission into the Mausoleum is free.

From April lớn September, the Mausoleum is mở cửa at 7:30am lớn 10:30am from Tuesdays lớn Thursdays; 7:30am khổng lồ 11am on weekends. From December khổng lồ March, the Mausoleum is xuất hiện on 8am khổng lồ 11am from Tuesday to Thursday, & from 8am to 11:30am on weekends.

The Mausoleum is closed on Fridays, and for a two-month stretch in autumn (October và November) as the embalmed toàn thân is sent khổng lồ Russia for some preventive maintenance and touching-up.

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