The Independence Palace (Historical Relic)

November 6, 2019

The Independence Palace, commonly known as Reunification Palace is a historic and architectural landmark in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Built by the French during 1868 and 1871, originally serving the Indochina Governor-General until it was taken over by the Saigon government in 1954. It became the workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and the site of the official handover of power during the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.

Admission is VND 40,000 per person (as of 2019). This was our second visit to The Independence Palace, and this time we decided to navigate the place on our own. The Palace consists of 95 rooms, each decorated according to its function. It features two exhibition rooms, a 33-room guesthouse, bomb shelter, a Catholic chapel, helipad, tanks, and numerous entertainment facilities.

Visitors can choose to have a guided tour, which we also did on our first visit. The guide explained the architecture, decoration and historical contents. She showed us where the important meetings held during the war, as well as some of the private quarters of the president and his family. There is a lot of Vietnamese arts and also nicely decorated reception where International visitors received. The tour was approximately 45 minutes. After the sightseeing program, we decided to watch a documentary film about "Historical Witness" in the air-conditioned movie room.

Visitors can also opt for a self-guided tour with an audio guide. Available in 6 languages English, Vietnamese, French, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.

For me, the most interesting part of the palace is the Bunker. It has a network of tunnels and rooms, including a War Room, strategy maps on the walls and a telecommunications room. It is said that on August 4, 1975, when the Reunification Palace was bombed, Nguyen Van Thieu's family, who was then President of the Republic of Vietnam, took shelter in the basement section.

Now, the Palace is both an ideal tourist sightseeing point and a place to hold meetings, seminars, receive guests from local and foreign agencies and businesses. It has a restaurant serving entertainments, birthdays and weddings.

Below is a short video tour through The Independence Palace:

The ticket selling time is 7:30 to 11:00 am and from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Open to visitors every day including Saturdays, Sundays and Tet Holidays (except special occasions here).

The Independence Palace is located at 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia st., District 1, HCMC, and 106 Nguyen Du St., District 1, HCMC. Near Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral of Saigon and Saigon Central Post Office.

Toodles, until next time,
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AN ASIAN TRAVELER, Exploring Asia!