The mausoleum is the last resting place of Ho Chi Minh. It is a symbol of gratitude and respect of Vietnamese people for president Ho Chi Minh.
Construction work began on September 2, 1973 and the structure was formally inaugurated on August 29, 1975.
The mausoleum was inspired by Lenin's Mausoleum in Moscow but incorporates distinct Vietnamese architectural elements, such as the sloping roof. The exterior is made of gray granite, while the interior is gray, black, and red polished stone. The mausoleum's portico has the words "Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh" inscribed across it, meaning "President Ho Chi Minh."
In his will, Ho Chi Minh stated his wish to be cremated and to have his ashes scattered in the hills of north, central, and southern Vietnam. He said that he preferred cremation because it would be "more hygienic than burial and would also save land for agricultural purposes." The mausoleum was built in spite of his wishes.
The structure is 21.6 metres high and 41.2 metres wide. Flanking the mausoleum are two platforms with seven steps for parade viewing. The plaza in front of the mausoleum is divided into 240 green squares separated by pathways. The gardens surrounding the mausoleum have nearly 250 different species of plants and flowers, all from different regions of Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh's body is preserved in the cooled, central hall of the mausoleum, which is protected by a military honour guard. The body lies in a glass case with dim lights. The mausoleum is closed occasionally while work is done to restore and preserve the body but is normally open daily from 9:00 am to noon to the public. Lines of visitors, including visiting foreign dignitaries, pay their respects at the mausoleum.