Young Pioneer Tours

The surreal birthplace of Ho Chi Minh

At YPT, we are no strangers to birthplaces of great leaders, but perhaps nothing could quite prepare us for the surreal birthplace of Ho Chi Minh.

Nestled in heart of Vietnam and near the nothing town that is Vinh, the site attracts hundreds of mostly Vietnamese tourists every day. Is it worth visiting for the red chasers out there, and how does it compare with Mangyongdae, Gori, or even Batac?

Getting to the birthplace of Ho Chi Minh in Vinh

Getting here, while relatively simple, will involve actually coming here largely for visiting his birthplace. This is because, while being equidistant between Hanoi and Hue, it is still 7 hours from either, with very little else there aside from some beaches in the area.

It is of course possible to fly, or take the bus to Vinh, but the most popular, comfortable and cost efficient route is via the Reunification Express. This is the line that links Saigon with Hanoi, as well as offering such iconic routes as the picturesque Da Nang to Hue route.

What is there to do in Vinh?

Quite simply not much, something evident when you rock up at midnight to see one pho restaurant open. Saigon might be the city that does not sleep, but Vinh does sleep, at exactly 10.30 pm at night.

Aside from the birthplace, there is the Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Museum, which is worth a visit, the Citadel, as well as one of the best teams in Vietnam, should you fancy watching a match.

Alternatively, there is the resorts of Cua Tung if you fancy slightly more of a beach holiday theme.

Nightlife here is limited to street food, bia hoi and getting drunk with the locals.

Visiting the birthplace of Ho Chi Minh

Going there, to Kim Lien Village, or Sen Village, will cost you about $16 return by Grab, or taxi. Generally speaking you should negotiate this before you go there.

Upon arrival, you will see a row of shops mostly selling snacks, before you head into the village itself. This can best be described as both serene and somewhat surreal. As birthplaces of former communist leaders go, this is perhaps the best kept after that of President Kim Il Sung.

This almost paradise-like village has Lilly pads, gardens, shops, as well as old stylized buildings to represent where Uncle Ho lived until he was 5. There are also abodes linked to his revolutionary neighbors, father and paternal grandfather. It might not be quite the Paektu Bloodline, but even the Vietnamese love a good lineage.

As well as this, you will find stores selling almost everything you could image based around Ho Chi Minh. Perhaps the strangest of these was the small wooden boat featuring his image, whilst the one I really wanted to buy was the Marx-Engles-Lenin-Uncle Ho picture.

Perhaps most amazingly though, and perhaps what made it feel so surreal, was that while you might be the only foreigner here, you will not be the only person. On my trip there were quite literally hundreds of people visiting from their work, or who had gotten dressed up for the occasion. Of course, this may have been because it is his birthday in 9 days, but it is at least in part because of the sheer reverence people in Vietnam still hold for the chap.

This is something, much like the Chinese with Mao, that westerners usually not only do not believe, but also do not understand. If this is you, we suggest coming to visit the hometown of Ho Chi Minh.

While we do not visit on our Vietnamese group tours, it can be arranged as part of a bespoke trip to the country.

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