The cuisine in Hanoi tends to be slightly sweeter than in the rest of Vietnam, with a focus on abundant fresh herbs and freshwater seafood. Here are a few dishes and activities you won't want to miss.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
10 Ngoc Ha Street, Hanoi
Although Ho Chi Minh requested cremation, with his ashes spread over the north, center, and south of the country, the massive mausoleum was inaugurated in 1975. The imposing granite and concrete edifice was modeled after Lenin’s tomb in Moscow but contains Vietnamese architectural elements, and includes granite, wood, and other material from around the country.
Most Hanoi sightseeing tours feature a stop at the Ho Chi Minh Complex and may include stops at other attractions, such as the Temple of Literature, Hoan Kiem Lake, or Tran Quoc Pagoda. Or experience Hanoi like a local on a motorbike tour of the city; add on a cyclo ride, food tour, or a water puppet show for a full experience.
Things to Know Before You Go
It’s free to enter the mausoleum, but donations are accepted.
All bags must be checked at the entrance.
Photos are not permitted; cameras may need to be checked in.
Wear respectful clothing; shoulders, arms, and knees should be covered.
Once inside the mausoleum, you must walk steadily and you cannot talk, smile, or put your hands in your pockets.
How to Get There
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum forms part of the Ho Chi Minh Complex, at Ba Dinh Square. If you are not visiting as part of an organized tour, the easiest way to reach is by taxi. A number of buses also stop at nearby Le Hong Phong Road, including bus 9, 22, and 34.
When to Get There
The mausoleum is closed on Mondays and Fridays and only open in the mornings. It’s usually closed around October and November, when Ho Chi Minh’s body is sent to Russia for maintenance. It’s best to arrive first thing in the morning, before the mausoleum opens at 8am, to wait in line. Otherwise, expect long lines that usually move at a quick pace.
Ho Chi Minh Complex
The Ho Chi Minh Complex includes the mausoleum, Presidential Palace, two houses that Ho Chi Minh lived in, Ho Chi Minh Museum, and One Pillar Pagoda. It’s worthwhile to visit all the sites in the complex.
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- One-Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot)
- Ho Chi Minh Museum (Bao Tang Ho Chi Minh)
- Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum (Bao Tang My Thuat)
- Vietnam Military History Museum
- Presidential Palace
- Do Temple (Den Do)
- Temple of Literature (Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam)
- Ho Chi Minh's Residence (Nha Bac Ho)
- Hanoi Cooking Centre (HCC)
- Ambassador’s Pagoda (Chua Quan Su)
- Tran Quoc Pagoda (Chua Tran Quoc)
- Hoa Lo Prison
- Dong Xuan Market
- West Lake (Ho Tay)
- St Joseph’s Cathedral (Nha Tho Lon)