The Independence palace is one of the must see places, when visiting Ho chi Minh city. Not only for the interesting history behind it, but for the beautiful architecture and Interior designs of the various rooms Inside the palace.
Also known as the reunification palace, It was the home and workplace of former South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu. It was from here that Nguyen Van Thieu directed South Vietnamese forces during the Vietnam War. The palace was the site of the end of the Vietnam War. When a tank came crashing through it’s gates, during the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. The palace Is not so much in official use these days and it is more of a historic relic and tourist destination.
It is a 5 storey building made up of 95 rooms and chambers. Designed by Vietnamese architect Viet Thu and constructed between 1962-1966. He designed it with a mix of traditional ritual and modern architecture. With the interiors being a representation of Chinese and Vietnamese cultures. Also the entire layout of the structure, when viewed from above, is the shape of the Chinese character for ‘good fortune’
The first floor is made up of different meeting rooms, often used for conferences. Not the most Interesting floor of the palace, but it’s interesting to see where all the Important meetings were held. The second floor are a grand set of reception rooms, used for welcoming foreign and national dignitaries. In the back of the structure, are the president’s living quarters. Including A red velvet-lined cinema and a games room for poker and dominoes.
I really enjoyed my time walking around the palace. The interior in there is simply stunning and unlike anything I have seen before. It feels like you are seeing moments frozen in time here, and you can try to Imagine all the events that happened within these walls. It is also a photographers paradise, If you love your photography, then you can spend a long time here, trying to capture the magnificent architecture
Located in District 1 and is a walkable distance from the other main places around district 1. Also the War remnants museum is less than a 10 min walk away, so it’s a great idea to do a visit to both in the same day. I visited the War remnants museum after the palace, but make sure you leave time to do both. If you do that. Ideally you need a minimum of 2 hours at both places. You can also hire a guide, who will give you a more In depth knowledge of the various rooms and tell you more about the history, which I think will be very useful If you are really into the history side of things.
The palace open all week from 7.30 AM to 11.30AM and 1.00PM to 5.00 PM. Entrance ticket is VND 20,000.
If you are Interested in seeing the full set of pictures from my visit, I will be posting them on the gallery page very soon.