Photo: A highlight.

Reunification Palace

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When North Vietnamese Army Tank 390 burst through the front gates of Independence Palace at 10:45, 30 April 1975, it effectively marked the end of the fall of Saigon, the end (or liberation) of South Vietnam and the end of the Vietnam War.





Photos of the palace with tanks has joined the ranks of iconic Vietnam War photography, while the building itself—now called Reunification Palace—is one of the city’s top attractions, a must for any first-time visitor to Ho Chi Minh City.

Historic. Photo taken in or around Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Historic. Photo: Cindy Fan

The 1960s modernist building was actually a replacement for Norodom Palace, which was built by the French in 1873 to the tune of 12 million Francs. Black and white photos of the palace show a grand neo-Baroque building with a central dome, gardens and a ceremonial room that could accommodate 800 guests.

It was a lavish expense, especially since its original purpose was short lived. Initially it was the residence of the Governor of Cochinchina. When the Union of Indochina was formed in 1887, it was ruled by a Governor General in Hanoi and Cochinchina was given a mere Lieutenant Governorship. The residence of the Lieutenant Governor was moved to what’s now referred to as Gia Long Palace (currently the Ho Chi Minh City Museum), while Norodom Palace was relegated to ceremonial purposes and gradually fell into a state of disrepair.

Like stepping into the Thunderbirds. Photo taken in or around Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Like stepping into the Thunderbirds. Photo: Cindy Fan

During World War II, the city and building saw power shuffles, with Japanese occupation replacing France and then Japanese surrender restoring the French, lasting until the French defeat on 7 May 1954 at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. Following the monumental Geneva Conference, which divided Vietnam into North and South, South Vietnam’s first President Ngo Dinh Diem took up residence in the palace, renaming it “Independence ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Reunification Palace
135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 1
Mo–Su: 07:30–11:00 & 13:00–16:00
Admission: Adults 40,000 dong, children 10,000 dong

Location map for Reunification Palace

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