No trip to Hanoi would be complete without a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum and the nearby Ho Chi Minh Museum. Photos are strictly prohibited in the mausoleum itself. In fact, the security to get into the mausoleum is comparable to Tan Son Nhat Airport–you have to put your bags through an x-ray machine and walk through a metal detector before you can enter the building.
After the mausoleum we headed over to the stilt house, which is where Ho Chi Minh lived while president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). The story is that he refused to live in the former Governor General’s residence, which is right next door, because it was too opulent.
Guiding us through the Ho Chi Minh museum was Professor Le Van Lan. We found out that he is also well-known in Hanoi as the host of a televised game show. Sure enough, as we were checking out the museum we noticed some people staring at him and taking pictures. (Nice photo bomb, Ahmed.)