Located on an area of 6,500 square meters, President Ho Chi Minh Monument Site leaves a bold and unforgettable mark on the cultural tourism map of Thailand. Not only overseas Vietnamese but also Thai people are very proud to have a historical and cultural relic site with the name of President Ho Chi Minh in their homeland.
President Ho Chi Minh Monument Site at Noong On village, Xieng Phin commune, Muong district, Udon Thani province (Kingdom of Thailand) (Photo: baotanghochiminh.vn)
His days in Thailand (from July 1928 to November 1929) marked an arduous period in President Ho Chi Minh’s journey of thousands of miles to find a way to save the nation. During this time, he had many different names such as: Mr. Tho, Nam Son, Chin, … but were often called by Thai with the simple name of Thau Chin (or old man Chin). His activities and simple daily life aroused the patriotic spirit among overseas Vietnamese and deep affection of Thai towards Uncle Ho and Vietnamese revolution.
With that noble sentiment, in 2002, after the referendum, the government of Udon Thani province and Overseas Vietnamese Association in Udon Thani province agreed to build a monument site that acts as an education, research, study and tourism center with historical values about President Ho Chi Minh. It also contributed to enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the Vietnamese and Thai. Those aspirations had been quickly realized, responding to the wishes of the compatriots of the two countries and friends globally.
Inauguration ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Monument Site
What is special is that the Ho Chi Minh Monument Site was established, built and managed by the local government of Thailand. Perhaps that’s why the Site quickly attracted strong support from local officials, scientists and people in Udon Thani province and the North-Eastern provinces of Thailand. The construction of the Monument Site became a practical need in spiritual life of Thai people. It was not only a simple desire to have another local tourist destination, but also seems a pray for the peace and development of this “free land”.
During the Seminar about the 1928-1929 period of President Ho Chi Minh in Thailand, on the eve of the inauguration, Mr. Trinh Van Thai, a Vietnamese Thai repeatedly emphasized: “Overseas Vietnamese in Thailand always remember Uncle Ho as a living saint” and he recounted: “Since 1947, when Uncle Ho was still alive, most of overseas Vietnamese’s houses in Thailand had an altar. On the altar, there was a national flag with red background and a yellow star and a photo of President Ho Chi Minh. Here, people worshiped Uncle Ho as a living saint.” The construction of the Monument has that profound meaning.
As for Professor Sorat Pitchuancom – Assistant Rector of Rachaphat Udon Thani University, Chairman of the Monument Site Management Board, he always emphasized in his presentation at the Seminar his pride for the work that he has pursued during the past 10 years. He stated it was not only a huge responsibility but also a sacred work for himself and his country. “If we encountered any obstacles, I always told myself and my colleagues that this Monument Site was named after President Ho Chi Minh, so we have to build it successfully so that it would be worthy of the position of a Hero of the Vietnamese nation, a world cultural celebrity,” he said.
During the meeting with the overseas Vietnamese delegation who visited Uncle Ho’s hometown – Kim Lien relic site, Nghe An, overseas Vietnamese were choked up in emotion, expressing their pride and excitement to return to their home country and visited Uncle’s homeland. Ms. Vu Thi Tin, Executive Committee member of Overseas Vietnamese Association in Udon Thani province, said emotionally: “We are very honored and proud to be Vietnamese. Although we are far from our homeland, living here where our beloved President Ho Chi Minh left his imprints makes us feel proud with high sense of responsibility to maintain and develop the Monument Site on par with his image and cultural values”.
Vimay Phinxalì was a special guest among the delegation. He is the Chairman of the People’s Committee of Xiengphin town, which directly manages Ho Chi Minh Monument Site. “Above all, we are very proud to have Uncle Ho Relic Site. We always keep in mind that the friendship and solidarity of the two countries has been and continues to be built by President Ho Chi Minh and his influence. Therefore, we are responsible for well preserving the Relic Site,” said Phinxalì.
The thatched-roof house resembles the house where Uncle Ho lived in Udon Thani province during 1928-1929. (Photo: Nhan Dan Newspaper)
Given its profound historical significance and value, the Monument Site is well-known among the overseas Vietnamese and Thai people, who have continuously contributed their physical, intellectual and material efforts to develop and maintain the Site. Many domestic enterprises and individuals, such as Saigon Commercial Joint Stock Bank, Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group, JSC Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam, the family of Martyr Tran Dinh Chau, to name a few, has made valuable material and in-kind contributions to the Park. Less than a month after BIDV’s initiative was launched, BIDV’s employees have collected and donated 100 documentary photos, more than 400 books about Uncle Ho’s life and many documents, artifacts and memorabilia of historical and cultural value, many literary and artistic works about Uncle Ho to the Monument Site. Martyr Tran Dinh Chau’s family coordinated with BIDV to provide the altar, Uncle Ho’s statue and 14 other items to place Uncle Ho’s altar in the multi-purpose hall on the inauguration of the Monument Site. These are solid demonstration of solemn reverence to Uncle Ho and aspiration for long-lasting friendship and solidarity of the two countries.
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, thousands of overseas Vietnamese and Thai people from many regions eagerly came to the Monument Site as if they were returning to their homeland, to their beloved Uncle. Several days prior to the Ceremony, many groups of overseas Vietnamese came to prepare for the inauguration day. A solemn, joyful and homely atmosphere creates a great festival in the passionate solidarity of overseas Vietnamese and Thai people. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Mr. Khoman Ekachai, Governor of Udon Thani province emphasized joyfully and emotionally: “In addition to its cultural and historical significance, President Ho Chi Minh Monument Site is also a vivid symbol of the friendship between the Vietnamese and Thai, the sincere heart of Thai people, including overseas Vietnamese to beloved Uncle Ho and Vietnamese people. The historical and cultural values that Ho Chi Minh created will forever shine in our homeland”.
Saying goodbye to Udon Thani, we brought with us good impressions of Thai’s love and affection for beloved Uncle Ho, fostering the solid friendship of the Vietnamese – Thai people.