It may come as a surprise that one of Vietnam’s most well-known leaders lived not in a grandiose palace but in a modest stilt house tucked amid thick foliage behind the royal residence.
Ho Chi Minh, who ruled the land from 1945 until 1969 and led the country to independence, worked hard to cultivate an identity as a “man of the people.” His traditional home, inspired by a trip to the country’s northwestern regions, played a major role in convincing the public that he was a regular guy.
Today, travelers can visit Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house, stationed behind the Presidential Palace on a corner of the lush garden grounds, filled with fruit trees, ferns and frangipani. The lower section of his home—sparsely furnished with only the bare necessities—is open to the public. It serves as a testament to the no-frills lifestyle this long-reigning ruler was famous for.