Vietnam: The Presidential Palace Complex in Hanoi

While in Hanoi City, we checked out the Presidential Palace. To me, it is a great place to visit and to learn more about Ho Chi Minh and his life stories.

The Presidential Palace

The Presidential Palace

Ho Chi Minh was a simple man and by choice had a limited amount of possession. He was a Vietnamese communist revolutionary leader who became the prime minister from 1945 to 1955 and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam from 1945 to 1969. He was also known as a key figure in the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 in the People’s Army of Vietnam and in the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.

These were the things we saw inside Presidential Palace complex:

1. A bright yellow building that is known as the Presidential Palace, originally the French Indochina Governor-General’s Palace, which we were not allowed to enter, but we could take pictures from the outside. It was built by the French in the early 1900s as the residence of the Governor of French Indochina and to serve as a reminder to the Vietnamese that the French were their rulers. When the French were beaten at Dien Bien Phu, the palace was given to Ho Chi Minh to live in but Ho Chi Minh refused to stay there and opted for a much a simpler house on the palace grounds. The palace looked very grand from the outside and it is surrounded by a very well-manicured garden and landscape. Until now, it continues to be used for official state functions.

2. The beautiful path lined with mango orchards where President Ho Chi Minh used to walk and do morning exercises.

3. The garage that held three cars. I learned that these automobiles: a 1954 Russian Zis, a 1955 Russian Pobeda, and a 1964 Peugeot 404, were gifts from the Americans and Russians and were used by President Ho Chi Minh.

The garage.

The garage.

4. The house of 54 where President Ho Chi Minh moved in in 1954; however he only stayed there for 4 years until his stilt house was built.

The house of 54

The house of 54

5. The stilt house. This humble home was made of wood and was built by Ho Chi Minh in 1958. He lived in there as soon as it was finished, until he died in 1968, it was a symbol of his solidarity with the Vietnamese people. The house consists of a bedroom, a meeting room, a dining room, a reading room with a writing table and many books, and underneath the house was a sort of an open-air conference room. I also noticed some few interesting artifacts such as an iron helmet and telephones used during wartime. It is quite big and nice, but I did not notice any bathroom on the stilt house. I observed the strong influence of both Lenin and Marx in almost all the rooms.

Inside the stilt house.

Inside the stilt house.

6. The Uncle Ho’s Fishpond. I heard that Ho Chi Minh used to meditate around the lake and feed the fishes. I saw some Cypress tree’s roots along this charming pond. It really was quite beautiful and offered a magnificent respite away from the noise in the city.

The Buddha or Cypress tree's roots along the pond.

The Buddha or Cypress tree’s roots along the pond.

I would say that we had a wonderful and pleasant visit to the Presidential Palace complex. It was very interesting to see the humble homes where Ho Chi Minh lived. Most importantly, we had great insights about the history of that time and about the life lead by Ho Chi Minh.

Little Lilly Travel Tip:

  • Make sure you wear decent clothes like a pair of trousers and a top with sleeves otherwise the security won’t let you in.
  • The visit takes about an hour or two.
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4 thoughts on “Vietnam: The Presidential Palace Complex in Hanoi

  1. Thank you for the tour, littlelilly. Does any one live in the Presidential Palace now? If so, is that why you were denied access? I would definitely find that fish pond a very calming place to relax and meditate. Lovely photos and story. 😉

    • Hi Judy! I’m not sure if anyone is living in the Presidential Palace now. When we paid for the entrance fee, we were told that we were not allowed to get inside the palace building, we were not given any explanation. I think because they still hold some state functions there.

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