Can anyone please help me with the exact period of operation?
My trip would be much simpler if I could avoid starting in Hanoi, and ending there instead. Unfortunately, from what I've read the mausoleum is closed in September. Is that from the 1st or later in the month?
My travel times are August 20th to September 20th. I'm bringing a rain coat!
Thanks in advance. Depending on your answers I'll probably bombard this forum with questions since Bruce kicked me off the Indochina section!
#1 angfonz has been a member since 7/7/2009. Posts: 36
I doubt it's really worth rearranging your whole trip just to see the body. The building itself is impressive and worth seeing, but you can get within 50 feet of the entrance without going on the official tour. We decided to skip the tour since it sounded like it was a lot of time and hassle for a brief glimpse of Uncle Ho.
#2 scafire_jesse has been a member since 1/3/2008. Posts: 17
Contact Ngoc at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask her directly. I'll shoot her an e-mail and let her know to looking for the answer. She is in Ha Noi and she will be able to tell you.
It is a lot of time and hassle for a breif glimpse of Uncle Ho if you don't know what you are doing. Here's what I did, 1) have a licensed tour guide with you that day, it's worth the money you will pay. 2) they will take you to a special line for people who have paid the bit of money it costs to hire a licensed tour guide. 3) you will stand in a line for less than 30 minutes, even on a Sunday, even the Sunday before Reunification Day. 4) you will proceed through the mausoleum, see Ho Chi Minh for about 45 seconds and forever after be able to say that you have seen him.
Seriously the line is super long and begins early in the morning if you don't go with a licensed tour guide - not worth it? You decide. I had other westerners asking me how long I waited. The had been there for over two hours and were very upset that their local buddy didn't know the trick to get in and out quick.
By the way, the One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh's stilt house, the French Governor's Palace and the Mausoleum are all part of the same complex. Some tour materials make it sound as if you are going from one place to another. You can knock all of them out in about two hours - with a licensed tour guide.
#3 anhluc has been a member since 15/5/2009. Posts: 32
I delayed seeing Ho Chi Minh until about my 3rd visit, mainly because Ho himself had been opposed to such cult exercises. However I found it interesting to see the Vietnamese line up to pay their respects. I didn't wait even half an hour and a couple of years ago when I took friends it was not too bad either. I found the whole experience quite interesting and moving too, though actually seeing the wax-like body was the least impressive moment.
If you go, try and take in the whole experience. The stilt house I found the most interesting part of the whole thing.
#4 violets has been a member since 6/7/2009. Posts: 152