April 5, 2002
The building is now used for government receptions and official state visits and is closed to the public but it can still be admired from the outside on a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Relic Area, during the walk down the tree-lined Mango Alley that leads from the entrance to the fishing pool out back. This is a serene little pond where Uncle Ho is said to have spent much of his time relaxing. He apparently loved it so much that in 1958, 4 years after his victory against the French he constructed a simple traditional style Vietnamese house on its banks where he is said to have lived until his death in 1969.
This is a very simple wooden stilt-house with split bamboo screens and open-sides that let the air and natural light flood so that Uncle Ho could enjoy the fragrances of his garden, they also allow the modern visitor to glimpse the inside without disturbing the contents. The ground floor holds a large table surrounded by chairs that acted as a meeting room for Ho and his Politburo during the later years of his reign. An external staircase allows you to view the upstairs containing his Spartan and simply furnished bedroom and study, all of which have been left untouched since his death.
The simplicity of the structure and its Spartan furnishings are seen as a testament to the simplicity of this man and of the people who lead his country to victory over two western powers. Although there is a question as to exactly how much time he actually spent here, he is alleged to have died in the small hut that stands next to it, I am personally willing to believe it as I can't think of anywhere that I'd rather live and die than here. This is a truly serene spot in which to contemplate the life and death of "a man who has dedicated all his life to the cause of revolution and people."
From journal City in the River Bend