Behind his Mausoleum is Uncle Hồ’s stilt house. Following independence from the French in 1954, the president, unwilling to occupy the pretentious President’s Palace, had an unassuming wooden house built for himself behind the palace, modeling it in the style of an ethnic minority stilt house.
Hồ Chí Minh’s Stilt House and Garden
A wooden house with open sides, hung with spilt bamboo screens, the ground floor he used for meetings. Here are the old-fashioned telephone and the table around which he sat with his Politburo. Upstairs are his bedroom and study, sparsely furnished with bed and desks and an old-fashioned radio.
It is said that Hồ Chí Minh lived here for the last eleven years of his life, even part of the time during the American-Việt Nam War – there was an underground bunker next door. Walking through his home and garden, gazing at his fishpond, one feels the humanness of the man.
The historical importance
This humble, traditional stilt house where Ho lived intermittently from 1958 to 1969 is set in a well-tended garden adjacent a carp-filled pond and has been preserved just as Ho left it. From here, you look out on to Hanoi’s most opulent building, the beautiful, Beaux-Arts, Presidential Palace, constructed in 1906 for the Governor General of Indochina. It’s now used for official receptions and isn’t open to the public. Visitors may wander the grounds if you stick to the paths.
There is a combined entrance gate to the stilt house and Presidential Palace grounds on P Ong Ich Kiem inside the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex. When the main entrance is closed, enter from Hung Vuong street.