As Vietnam continues to evolve and modernize, Ho Chi Minh’s Reunification Palace, also known as Independence Palace or Reunification Hall, remains a fascinating time capsule of 1970s life. The base of former South Vietnam’s President, Ngo Dinh Diem, the Reunification Palace has played a pivotal role in shaping Vietnam and is comprised of new-age Vietnamese architecture and dated interiors.
The Palace’s now abandoned hallways and quiet alcoves were once bustling with military activity and political discussion. In 1975, the first Communist tanks to arrive in Ho Chi Minh City crashed through the Palace’s gates, sparking a chain of events that would mark the end of the Vietnam War.
Today, the Palace remains closely associated with the Fall of Saigon, and its features, ornaments, and decorations have remained almost untouched since that period.
The reunification palace is a five-storied building that’s jam-packed with military artifacts, retro furniture, and war memorabilia. Some of the Palace’s main highlights can be found in the basement, as it’s full of antique telecommunications equipment as well as an old war room and a maze of underground tunnels.
The Palace’s middle floors are filled with the most opulent of staterooms. Complete with high ceilings and long conference tables, these rooms were designed to impress visiting diplomats. There’s also a game room with poker tables, dominoes, and decks of cards.
The uppermost floors are home to a cinema, nightclub, and a couple of grand bedrooms which were designed for the President and his family. There’s also a strategically placed helipad on the rooftop.
The Reunification Palace has remained nearly undisturbed for almost half a century and serves as an eye-opening throwback to the 20th century. Although it’s mostly a tourist attraction now, it still occasionally hosts government meetings and conferences. For those interested in stepping back in time, make sure to add this historical site to your itinerary.
If you’d like to visit a few other historic locations in District 1, consider stopping by the Saigon Central Post Office, Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, or the Saigon Opera House.
Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Phone: (+84) 38 223652
Season: Year-Round | 8 AM – 12 PM
Admission: Entrance fee
Opened: October 31, 1966