Reunification Palace

Reunification Palace was  formerly known as Independence Palace. The current building, completed in October, 1966 is a relatively new arrival to Ho Chi Minh City or, Saigon as it was known back then. It  replaced Noordam Palace, which was severely damaged in 1962 in a bombing raid by two rebellious South Vietnames pilots who clearly didn’t approve of the President at the time, Ngô Đình Diệm.  Rather than have it repaired, President Diem ordered it levelled and a new one built in its place.

The design of the new building is by one of Vietnamese the most decorated  architects,  Ngô Viết Thụ. Amongst other awards he recieved the Prix de Rome in Architecture.  In my opinion, it’s not a particularly beautiful building but it certainly is imposing and recognizable as a key landmark in Ho Chi Minh City.

Construction of the current Reunification Palace started in 1962 and was compeleted in October 1966. Unfortunately for President Diem, he never got to move in as he was assassinated in 1963 by some of his own staff. Instead, General Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, Chairman of the National Leadership Committee, and head of a military junta at the time moved in. He hung around until April 1975 when the North Vietnamese Forces were clearly taking control of the South. At which point he fled.

Those around at the end of the Vietnam War probably have pictures of  a North Vietnamese army tank crashed through the ornate gates  on April 30, 1975 etched in their mind. This action effectively signalled the end of the War.

Reunification Palace

Gates of Reunification Palace

After all the treaty negotiations were completed between the two sides in ovember 1975, the Provisional Revolutionary Government promptly changed the name from Independence Palace to  Reunification Hall.

The complex, which spans a full city block, is now used as a museum. Visitors can visit most areas of the building including the downstairs meeting rooms, up stairs reception rooms and the President’s personal chambers. The second floor features an “interestingly” decorated card room, a cinema and a rooftop nightclub complete with helipad.

In the basement you can see “the war room” displaying maps and charts and the telecommunications hub. There is also a room which shows videos about the Palace in 5 different langauges. The national anthem is played at the end of the tape and you are expected to stand up as a sign of respect.

Reunification Palace

Part of the leafy grounds of Reunification Palace

Visitors may also wander around most of the substantial grounds which contain large shady trees and extensive grassed areas. Here they will find a fighter plane that bombed the Palace on April 8th 1975 and the tank that smashed through the gates on April 30th.

Definitely worth a visit on any tour to Ho Chi Minh City; Reunification Palace is open all the week from 7.30 AM to 11.30AM and 1.00PM to 5.00 PM. Entrance tickets are VND 20,000 (about $1). Guided tours in English are  available.

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Reunification Palace

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Reunification Palace 10.777123, 106.695457 The Independence Palace, Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Bến Thành, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam (Directions)

 

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12 Responses

  1. June 19, 2014

    […] the real Saigon normally unseen by most tourists. Don’t get me wrong. I think the sites like Reunification Palace, The War Remnants Museum and others are well worth a visit, but you can easily do them by yourself […]

  2. June 23, 2014

    […] Street, right opposite the Saigon Central Post Office It’s just across 30- 4 Park from Reunification Palace and diagonally across from Diamond Plaza. This makes it a convenient inclusion for any walking tour […]

  3. October 21, 2014

    […] can also use this route to get close to Reunification Palace, The War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral and Saigon Central Post […]

  4. October 22, 2014

    […] a bit of a rest , head over to the entrance of the Reunification Palace on Nam Khy Khoi Ngha. Here you can join a tour, pick up a personal guide or just pay the ticket […]

  5. October 22, 2014

    […] a short walk from other key sites such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Saigon Central Post Office, Reunification Palace, The War Remnants museum, Ben Thanh Market and Bitexco Financial Tower Skydeck. The central […]

  6. November 21, 2014

    […] close to Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Basilica and the Saigon Central Post […]

  7. November 21, 2014

    […] up the road from Tao Dan, one of Saigon’s most pleasant parks and around the corner from the Reunification Palace, Saigon Central Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral. Large artworks portraying […]

  8. January 22, 2015

    […] Saigon Hotel  yesterday. Just two blocks back from Ben Thanh Market, around the corner from Independence Palace and close by some of our favourite restaurants, it fitted the bill. It has great reviews and […]

  9. February 5, 2015

    […] of the big attractions around town will be open. I confirmed with the War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace that they are open every day. The theme parks, DamSen (site in Vietnamese. Use Google translate to […]

  10. March 20, 2015

    […] this elegant District 1 restaurant at 138 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, just across the park from Reunification Palace. It’s in a perfect position to have lunch or dinner on a walking tour around the main sites […]

  11. July 16, 2015

    […] Visit the Reunification Palace […]

  12. September 9, 2015

    […] There are great historical locations like the Cu Chi Tunnels, War Remnants museum, and the Reunification Palace amongst others if you’re a history buff.  There is a very vibrant nightlife scene if that is […]

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