Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts, Hanoi - review by Rusty Compass
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Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts, Hanoi

| 28 Nov 2016
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Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts, Hanoi
Ba Dinh Square behind Ho Chi Minh
8-11am and 1:30-4:30pm. Closed Mondays

Our rating
28 Nov 2016

The simple timber house on stilts, in a lovely garden setting, from which Ho Chi Minh ruled wartime North Vietnam prior to his death in 1969. The house is modelled on montagnard dwellings from Vietnam's far north and is located in Hanoi's Ba Dinh Square right by the mausoieum.

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When he took over as President of North Vietnam in 1954, Ho Chi Minh commissioned what must be one of the world's most delightful presidential residences. It's not large enough to be called a palace or mansion - but rich in character it is. Independent Vietnam's new president eschewed the heavy extravagance of the nearby French Governor's mansion. Instead he built this simple open wooden house on stilts surrounded by gardens, towering trees and a small lake.

Photo: Mark BowyerHo Chi Minh's House, Hanoi

He lived in the French Governor's gardeners' quarters during the construction of his timber residence.

The house's design is influenced by traditional montagnard stilted structures from Vietnam's far north where Ho spent many years during wars with the Japanese and the French. It has been preserved as it was when he passed away in 1969 and contains some of his personal effects including his desk, bed, clock some books and other items. This tiny structure was the centre of power in North Vietnam at the height of the war with the US.

Photo: Mark BowyerHo Chi Minh's War Room

Contemporary architects and planners in Vietnam and elsewhere would do well to take note of the triumph of simplicity and harmony with natural things that Uncle Ho celebrates in his house on stilts.

Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts is located in the grounds of Ba Dinh Square right by the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Ho Chi Minh Museum and the French colonial era Governor General's mansion - now the Presidential Palace.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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