My 5: Ho Chi Minh Complex, Hanoi.

The Presidential Palace Hanoi

1. April 2018. Visitors to Hanoi should set aside a whole morning and a good chunk of the afternoon for all things Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam’s much-loved father of independence. Having paid my respects to Uncle Ho’s embalmed body at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the next step was to tour this complex, where the great man lived and worked as president during the mid 1950s until his death in 1969. My self-guided wander started here outside The Presidential Palace, built by French colonialists in the early 1900s before being taken over by the Vietnamese government in 1954.

2. April 2018. He apparently refused to live in The Presidential Palace, instead setting himself up here in a comparatively modest cottage next to his office and state meeting rooms.

3. April 2018. Although a simple man at heart, he did have a love for antique cars and you can check out what remains of his beloved collection. The green number was a gift from The Soviet government.

4. April 2018. In 1958 he left his cottage to move into this traditional stilt house, especially built for him in the style of an ethnic minority house from Vietnam’s northwest. Facing the pond and surrounded by hedges, a small garden and leafy mango trees, it’s an idyllic spot and one Ho Chi Minh stayed until his final days.

5. April 2018. Entrance to the complex costs 40.000VND (£1.30/€1.50/$1.75). You’ll need to pay extra for access to The Ho Chi Minh Museum. The place keeps funny and changeable times so check ahead to avoid disappointment. In summer the opening hours are 07:30-11:00 & 13:30-16:00, while in winter it’s 08:00-11:00 & 13:30-16:00. The complex is closed Mondays and Friday afternoons.

This is just one of three sections of the Ho Chi Minh Complex, so why not also take a look at My 5 on Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Ho Chi Minh Museum.

For more on Vietnam’s amazing capital, check out more My 5s from around Hanoi.

Like these? Then why not have a leaf through my articles from across Vietnam.

Leighton Literature travel reports short stories travel blogger


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Freelance travel writer, voice over and English teacher from London. Former music and film journalist, interviewer of the stars. Passionate about travel, film, music, football, Indian food.

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