"Where the Vietnam war ended" Reunification Palace Tip by Willettsworld

Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh City: 79 reviews and 184 photos

This building was originally known as the Presidential Palace or Independence Hall, and is a classic example of 1960's architecture. The original building was bombed in 1962 in an attempt by the South Vietnamese Air Force to assassinate President Diem. The assassination attempt failed, but the bombing damaged the building enough for Diem to order it torn down and built anew - not that he ever got to see the finished product as he was murdered before its completion. The Palace was completed in 1966 and merges classic 60's architecture with the principles of feng shui and Chinese calligraphy. The design of the building is said to represent the Chinese character Hung which means the nation to be prosperous forever.

It was here that Australian photojournalist Neil Davis took the photo of the NVA tank bursting through the gates of the palace on April 30 1975 as Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese - and barely a thing has been changed since. Walking the empty hallways and the maze-like bunker system in the basement has a true surrealistic quality to it that is oddly reminiscent of The Thunderbirds! The furniture and fixtures and fittings are very kitsch and don't feel out of place on the set of a 60's James Bond movie or even an Austin Powers film! Fantastic place that has to be visited for the history and architecture alone.

Open: 7.30-11am & 1-4pm. Admission: 15,000 VND.

Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street
Phone: +84 (0)80.85094
Website: http://www.dinhdoclap.gov.vn/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 3, 2010
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