"Saigon" Ho Chi Minh City by NedHopkins
Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide: 3,161 reviews and 7,298 photos
Built by the tyrannical Ngo Dinh Diem to replace the presidential palace bombed by his own (South Vietnamese) air force in 1962, this building was completed in 1966.
In 1975 "Big Minh," acting president for less than two days, offered to "transfer power" to the first North Vietnamese Army (NVA) officer to enter the reception hall. "You cannot transfer what you do not have," the officer replied.
Over 30 years of war -- against the French, the Americans, and others -- was over and Vietnam was, briefly, at peace. (Four years later Vietnam would overthrow the murderous Khmer Regime -- which was supported by China and, alas, by the U S -- and would then give an invading Chinese army a solid thrashing.
The former South Vietnamese Presidential Palace is now called the Reunification Palace. It serves both as a museum and as a site for official functions.
These Russian-built tanks are said to be the first two tanks to burst through the gates and onto the Presidential Palace grounds.
This is the view from the Reunification Palace across the grounds and down Le Duan Blvd.
The boulevard, like much of central Saigon (or, now, Ho Chi Minh City), was laid out by the French during their roughly 80 year colonial rule. Le Duan Blvd shows their influence.
- Pros:Good restaurants, some interesting sites
- Cons:Hot and humid year 'round
Compared with those in South America, the jungle in and around the Mekong Delta is not forbidding. Much has been cut... more travel advice
On the grounds with the History Museum, the King Hung Vuong Temple, and the zoo, the botanic garden is a colorful and... more travel advice
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