Photo: A highlight.

Reunification Palace

Our rating:

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.

Travel better, travel smarter

Save money, receive our latest updates and get the most out of your travels.


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 ... Travelfish members only (Around 900 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

Don’t miss the boat!

Please subscribe to to read the rest of this article, or log in here.

Subscribing to Travelfish costs A$35 per year and it gets you access to more than 200 downloadable guides to specific destinations, fabulous discount coupons and 50% off our personalised travel planning service. Sign up here.


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

Popular attractions in Ho Chi Minh City

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Ho Chi Minh City.

Best places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Ho Chi Minh City.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Ho Chi Minh City.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Ho Chi Minh City.
 Read up on how to get to Ho Chi Minh City, or book your transport online with Baolau.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Ho Chi Minh City? Please read this.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.

See below for more sights and activities in Ho Chi Minh City that are listed on

Top of page

Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Ho Chi Minh City? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Vietnam.

Top of page