Saigon’s Independence Palace

Saigon’s Independence Palace or also known as Reunification Palace is valued as one of the most important historical relics in Ho Chi Minh City. For Vietnamese generations to generations, it’s exactly the witness to how the Vietnam War ended.

Saigon’s Independence Palace
Photo by Eustaquio Santimano
Situated right in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, the Palace was constructed on a block of up to 12 hectares, surrounded by Huyen Tran Cong Chua, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, and Nguyen Du streets. It is open all the week for visiting, from 7:30 – 11:30 am and 1:00 – 5:00 pm every day with the entrance fee of VND15,000 for adults and VND2,000 for children.

Under the South Vietnam regime, the Reunification Palace did strongly represent the power of Ngo Dinh Diem’s government. However, it’s also a clear symbol for the fall of Saigon to the North’s liberation forces. On April 30, 1975, the existence of Saigon regime was completely terminated as a tank of the communists smashed into the palace’s iron gate, which officially ended the Vietnam War as well as marked the reunification of the whole county.

Totally designed by very famous Vietnamese architect Ngo Viet Thu, Independence Palace once served as the South Vietnam President’s workplace and home during the Vietnam War. Impressively, the construction’s architecture seems like a perfect combination of modern design and traditional ritual that’s really typical of the 60s’. While its outside space features by a lot of high trees and spacious lawns, the main building looks a bit old but so grave and powerful, just like a great wartime movie set. 

Wandering around the palace and its rooms, all of us may be vividly reminded of variety important historic moments during the wartime in Vietnam. Particularly, as visiting the commanding room, taking a look at old communication equipments, the basement labyrinth, and huge tactical maps pinned to the walls, visitors will feel clearest than ever that atmosphere.

Before the year 1975, approach to the palace and the surrounding areas was all forbidden to the public. But now, this historic site serves as a great museum, where everyone can see the F5E fighter plane and the tanks 390 that led the last assault of Liberation forces crashing the palace gate on April 30, 1975. Each day, the Independence Palace hosts about 1,000 tourists on average, definitely making it a must-see destination for those who have the chance to visit Ho Chi Minh City.

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