Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum
On the west side of Ba Dinh Square looms the grey granite and marble bulk of Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum. Despite his request that his ashes be scattered throughout his beloved homeland, in a modern version of ancestor veneration, when he died Ho Chi Minh’s body was embalmed and put on display in a temple where people could come to pay their respects.
Just inside the marble foyer, the visitor is greeted with his words: “Nothing is more important than independence and freedom”. His slight, pale body lies under glass upstairs, dimly lit, his touchingly thin hands resting on the black silk coffin covers. Nothing of his reputedly magnetic, charismatic personality remains, but this slim, lifeless form of a man continues to inspire the crowds of visitors who come from afar and the queues of school children who file past his coffin when he is in residence (closed October and November).
Virtually beside Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is …