"Saigon" Ho Chi Minh City by NedHopkins

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide: 3,158 reviews and 7,301 photos

Where the American (Vietnam) War ended

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.

Remnants of victory

These Russian-built tanks are said to be the first two tanks to burst through the gates and onto the Presidential Palace grounds.

Reunification Palace

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 and Cons
  • Pros:Good restaurants, some interesting sites
  • Cons:Hot and humid year 'round
  • Last visit to Ho Chi Minh City: Feb 2006
  • Intro Updated Feb 8, 2006
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Reviews (11)

Comments (2)

  • JonnyVN's Profile Photo
    Feb 26, 2007 at 8:03 AM

    Thanks for the comp, hope we can have a chat or a beer or two when your out this year

  • thedouglas's Profile Photo
    Jun 24, 2006 at 3:24 PM

    Glad to read Rex Hotel tip - was looking at this hotel as an option. Ta!

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