Ho Chi Minh was born and raised in Kim Lien (Que Ngoai Bac Ho), a small hamlet 14 km to the northwest of Vinh, making it 'hallowed ground' for patriotic Vietnamese.
You won't find much there but a few huts with thatched roofs -- there's a loom, a spinning wheel, the family kitchen, etc., all carefully preserved. A third building houses the family temple for honouring their ancestors. It sits on the family plot of land, which is still tended and sown by caretakers to this day.
For Vietnamese visitors, its an object lesson in how such a great man can come from such humble beginnings. Uncle Ho is so much larger than life in the Vietnamese imagination, they never tire of remarking that he was, in fact, one of the people. Most foreigners won't really feel the need to visit here, but if your stay in Vietnam has made you curious about the man behind the personality cult, it helps give a more complete picture.
Admission is free, though at peak times you may be obligated to buy three bouquets of flowers for 10,000 VND each, to be laid at certain altars throughout the site. On our visit in low season, this wasn't the case. The site closes during mid-day, so it makes sense to plan your trip so that you don't have to wait around for two hours.
To get here, head west from the roundabout at the base of Quant Trung street (Dang Thai Than Street is the most direct route) till it meets Highway 46. Follow that for about 12 more kilometres west to where you'll see a big sign announcing that Uncle Ho 'warmly welcomes' you to his homeland -- in English. Take a left there. You may see signs along the way prompting you to take a right towards Mo Ba Boan Thi Loan, the tomb of Ho Chi Minh's mother, but ignore those if you just want to head to the birthplace.
Last updated on 16th December, 2007.