Reunification Palace

Oddly reminiscent of The Thunderbirds

Photo of , , Ho Chi Minh City

What we say: 4 stars

This building was originally known as the Presidential Palace or Independence Hall, and is a classic example of 1960s 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 60s 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 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 and we found it oddly reminiscent of the set of The Thunderbirds.

Reunification Hall is also linked to the Museum of Ho Chi Minh City by a series of underground tunnels and bunkers, though these are not open to the public. It was in these tunnels that Diem spent the last hours of his life before fleeing to Cha Tam Church in Cholon and his death.

More details
106 Nguyen Du St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening Hours: Daily 07:30-11:00, 13:00-16:00
Last updated: 18th February, 2012

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Read 1 opinions from Travelfish readers

  • Reunification Palace

    23rd June, 2012

    I've been living in Ho Chi Minh City for 18 months but have only now made the effort to visit the Palace. It's a beautiful and striking building set among manicured lawns.
    History buffs will love it as the building has been preserved from its war-time hey day.
    Cost for 1 adult ticket is 30,000 dong
    Motorcycle parking is 2,000 dong

    Entrance is to the left of the main gate located on 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Quan 1. The gate is located at the junction with Le Duan.

    Reunification Palace reviewed by tomscam (1)
    Written on 23rd June, 2012, rated 5 out of 5. Visited here in June, 2012

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