Ba Dinh Square is the solemn place where president Ho Chi Minh read the Proclamation of Independence on September 2, 1945, giving birth to the People’s Democratic Republic of Vietnam. From that sacred moment, now we still defend, conserve and bring into play the Socialist Republic of Vietnam’s traditions.
If you want to understand why Ba Dinh square is a historical milestone, not only in Hanoian’s heart but also the whole nation of Vietnam, don’t miss an opportunity to visit it! This square has witnessed a great number of significant historical landmarks and momentous national events.
1. WHO named Ba Dinh Square?
For a long time, many people, even the locals, still think that President Ho Chi Minh named historic Ba Dinh Square, but in reality, the author of that name is a different person.
So, who was this?
The answer is… Tran Van Lai – the first Vietnamese Mayor of Hanoi after 60 years of French colonization.
In 1945, at the end of the road named the Priest Puyghiniê (now Dien Bien Phu Street), there was a spacious field covered with weeds called Poăng (means Point). Doctor Tran Van Lai named this field Ba Dinh Square, based on the brave army Dinh Cong Trang against the French in Nga Son, Thanh Hoa.
2. WHAT makes Ba Dinh Square become a historic milestone?
When Japan surrendered to the Allies in 1945, Vietminh forces declared the establishment of an independent republic. On 28th August 1945, the committee of Independence celebration chose Ba Dinh Park as the place for the current government establishment.
On the morning of September 2nd, 1945, Ho Chi Minh president read the Proclamation of independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in Ba Dinh Square.
Also, Ba Dinh Square is the place where the solemn rally of the Central Committee of Vietnam Labour and Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam came back to Hanoi capital on January 1, 1955.
The rally celebrating national reunification on September 2, 1975, happened here.
And there are various significant events taken place in Ba Dinh Square, which are written more detailed in the next parts.
If you are a Vietnamese history lover, keep scrolling down and dig into valuable information mentioned below!
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3. WHEN is the best time to visit Ba Dinh Square?
Actually, you can visit Ba Dinh Square anytime you want.
However, let me give you some suggestions under a local’s view.
Firstly, 6 am and 9 pm are some impressive moments that visitors can experience flag raising and lowering ceremonies each day. It will be a very impressive experience during your trip to Vietnam!
Secondly, from the afternoon until late at night, locals often choose Ba Dinh square Hanoi as a place to go out with their families or friends. The ground and the weather is very nice in the evening, and there are a lot of activities that everyone can join in. If you want to experience the local life in Hanoi, don’t skip these moments!
In addition, on special occasions, there are parades for the celebration of Independent day – 2nd September with military parades. If you have chances to contemplate them, I ensure that it will be unforgettable memories!
4. WHY was Ba Dinh Square chosen as the venue for these important events?
The August Revolution succeeded, after returning to Hanoi, President Ho Chi Minh and the Party Central Committee decided to organize the Independence Declaration Day.
During the preparation process, President Ho Chi Minh paid attention to the weather, which was in the rainy season as well as a spacious venue. The ceremony was taken place in the afternoon to avoid the rain and wait for all the people from distant places.
Initially, the organizers took into consideration Quan Ngua or Indochina campus. However, because two places were far from the city center, they needed to change places.
The next option, Opera House Square, unfortunately, was too cramped.
After considering, the organizers decided to choose Ba Dinh Flower Garden. Only this place can gather millions of people.
It is the reason why Ba Dinh Square is considered as a historic witness in Vietnamese’s heart.
Another WHY QUESTION comes here, guys!
Have you ever wondered that WHY Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum could avoid bombs and destruction during the harsh war periods?
Because around the mausoleum are different essential embassies. And according to the law of the war, it is not allowed to attack and destroy the embassies.
5. WHERE is the next travel destination after Ba Dinh Square?
It will be the best idea to cover all the attractions in the complex. Like Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, the Presidential Palace, House no 54 and 67, House on stilts, One Pillar Pagoda and lastly Ho Chi Minh museum.
All of them belong to the Ho Chi Minh complex. If you go early in the morning then a minimum half-day or full-day as long queue at the mausoleum.
6. HOW can you visit Ba Dinh Square Hanoi?
It takes you only about 15 minutes to go from the Old Quarter to Ba Dinh Square, so there are plenty of transportations that you can choose.
The bus is highly recommended due to its convenience. There are some bus routes with available information on the internet. Buses number 09, 34, and 22 all stop nearby. Less than a few minutes walking and you will be in Ho Chi Minh Complex.
However, there are some other choices to come here such as taxi or rented motorbike. There are parking lots for visitors coming here themselves with a quite low price (about 5.000 VND ~ $0.3).
Let’s move to the next parts and read other information needed about Ba Dinh Square!
7. What to do in Ba Dinh Square
- To locals, Independence Square is not only a place with historical meanings but also a playground they can go out with family or friends.
- To tourists, this is where they can both get more knowledge of the way Vietnam become independent and understand the lifestyle of locals at night.
- On a daily basis, flag raising and lowering ceremony are some impressive moments that visitors can experience at 6 am and 9 pm every day. Everyone can feel the solemnity during the moment of flag greeting rituals with ceremonial orchestra and the national anthem performed by military soldiers in white uniforms.
Flag raising ceremony at 6 am
- Interestingly, after flag salutation rituals, the square is back to its normal rhythm – a friendly public place for the locals: families who want a walk, elderly who want to exercise and friends who want to hang out.
- From the afternoon until late at night, locals often choose Ba Dinh square Hanoi as a place to go out with their families or friends. The ground and the weather is very nice in the evening, and there are a lot of activities that everyone can join in.
- On special occasions, there are parades for the celebration of Independent day – 2nd September with military parades.
This annual celebration attracts the attention of both locals and tourists.
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8. History makes Ba Dinh Square significant
Ba Dinh Square in Feudal Era
- At first, this place was a part of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long. In 1808, it was unloaded to rebuild a much smaller city where was the head office of North citadel then.
- Ba Dinh Square today was the West Gate of the new city at that time, which King Minh Mang named Hanoi in 1831. The square used to hold many cultural activities and events of Northern people.
Ba Dinh Square when French colonial come
- In 1894, after getting control of Indochina, the French colonial destroyed the citadel, only the North Gate (Cua Bac) remained. They planned to construct the administrative center of Indo-Chinese Federation, along with a large flower garden named Pugininer (Le Parc Pugininer).
Ba Dinh Square hold a significant spot in Vietnam’s history
Ba Dinh Square when Japanese Colonial take over
- To hold authority in Indochina, Japan overthrew the French on March 9th, 1945.
- Mayor Tran Van Lai decided to change many places and streets’ name in Hanoi with Vietnamese names, in replace former French ones. These places named after national heroes or historical events in memorial of their services to the country.
- Hence, Ba Dinh Square had its name to honor the uprising against the French colonists of Dinh Cong Trang resistance army in Ba Dinh, Nga Son District, Thanh Hoa Province (1886-1887).
Ba Dinh Square in the Independence of Democratic Republic of Vietnam
Parade at Ba Dinh Square
Ba Dinh Square when it has just been built
- When Japan surrendered to the Allies in 1945, Vietminh forces declared the establishment of an independent republic. On 28th August 1945, the committee of Independence celebration chose Ba Dinh Park as the place for the current government establishment.
- In the morning of September 2nd, 1945, Ho Chi Minh president read the Proclamation of independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Half million Vietnamese people were there to cheer up Vietnam’s Independence and Unity.
Ba Dinh Square in 1945
- After the Declaration of Independence, Ba Dinh flower garden was changed its name into Ba Dinh Square.
- In 1954, a project proposal of building Ho Chi Minh complex around Ba Dinh Square proceeded. The Complex included: Ba Dinh Hall (completed in 1963), Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (1975), Ho Chi Minh Museum (1990), Monument to heroic martyrs (1994).
- Also in Ba Dinh square, the funeral of our Great President Ho Chi Minh occurred in 1969. International delegates and Vietnamese gathered here to mourn and cry to send off Ho Chi Minh – our mighty father-figure.
- In-power Vietnamese government also chose this square as a site to build Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. This is a final resting place of President Ho Chi Minh that Vietnamese people can show deep gratitude to him forever.
Ba Dinh Square nowadays
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh Square
Except for these great events, many other highlighted events of Vietnam occurred in this Ba Dinh Square:
- The solemn rally of the Central Committee of Vietnam Labour and Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam came back to Hanoi capital on January 1, 1955
- The rally celebrating national reunification on September 2, 1975,
- The parade celebrating the Millennial Anniversary of Hanoi in 2010.
9. What can you see in Ba Dinh Square architecture?
Wide paths among grass squares
- Ba Dinh square is an area with the length is about 320m and the width is 100m, which is divided into 210 grass squares.
- Among grass squares, there are 1.4m wide paths to make easier for visitors to play or hang out here.
- In the center of Ba Dinh Square, there is a flag pole with a height of 25m.
What you need to know before visiting Ba Dinh Square Hanoi
- Hung Vuong street, Ba Dinh district,
Ba Dinh square opening hours – Recommended time
- If you come here to visit Ba Dinh Square as a historical place, the ideal time is 9 am as a low number of tourists.
- 5 pm to 9 pm is the best time to come and enjoy the atmosphere here with locals. You will get a deeper understanding of the night lifestyle of Hanoian. Moreover, it is possible for you to join in activities with locals.
- If having a chance, you should come here on special occasions such as an independent day, other celebrations to watch the parade.
Ba Dinh Square is crowded with people watching the parade
Ba Dinh Square Dress code
- There is no dress code rule but you should wear formal clothes in the daytime because it will be easier to visit another place near here such as Ho Chi Minh mausoleum or One-pillar pagoda after coming here.
- However, you can wear casual clothes if you come here in the evening to enjoy the atmosphere and join in activities with locals.
- You can bring along food and drinks but do not littering.
- It would be better if you go here with locals who understand Ba Dinh Square information. They can be your tour guides in the daytime and your friends in the evening. If not, hiring a tour guide is recommended to help you understand Ba Dinh Square.
- You should bring cameras or smartphone to take photos here with the beautiful ground
- In the daytime, sunscreen using is necessary or you will get sunburnt.
The Square is full of beautiful Vietnam flags
- If you come here with your children, taking care of them carefully in case they are too active and go to the road to play.
- If you come here during raising and lowering the flag, you are required to be solemn as these are the moments of flag greeting rituals.
- No transportation is allowed in the Ba Dinh Square. Therefore, you need to take your motorbike to the parking lot before getting in there.
Tours to Ba Dinh Square
Bring cameras or smartphone to take photos here with the beautiful ground