Hanoi could improve on signage for tourists.
On my quest for the mausoleum I ran into several other tourists who weren't aware of the entrance location either so as several roads were blocked (Ministry of Defence) we walked an extra few kilometres. So prepare and avoid the extra hike.
You'll get instructions from the staff although the instructions are not always clear (leave bag behind, don't leave bag; leave camera behind, don't leave valuabes...). Read the Lonely planet for some clear instructions on how to dress (properly) and what to bring).
Lines were short and moved fast. You're inside the actual mausoleum for just a few minutes and walk around HCM takes less than one minute. Yet it's impressive.
After your (free) visit the route takes you to the (paid) presidential palace. It's quite a struggle to exit the place without visiting the palace yet it is possible.
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