MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

The Independence Palace in Saigon

The first officially historic landmark we visited in Vietnam was the Reunification Palace which was formerly known as the Independence Palace. The Palace was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War and the site of the official handover of power during the Fall of Saigon on in 1975.

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I must admit, when we approached the gates and observed the grand but rectangular building set back from a long, circular driveway enclosing neatly cut grassland, I was a little underwhelmed at the prospect of trudging through four floors of grey government offices, not least in the sweltering heat. However, we were in Vietnam to see things and at the cost of only 15,000 VND (63p) each, we couldn't really lose.

The Independence Palace is actually quite a nice place to wander through though. Wouldn't want to live here judging by some stark decor in the sleeping quarters underground, but as befits a palace title, there are richly decorated reception and banquet rooms.

The gambling room also caught my eye - I can imagine cigar toting suits talking politics over snake wine whilst lounging on that round sofa (which I want) in a sea of self importance.

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By contrast, the basement bomb shelter where lots of military activities took place is starkly decorated and contains rooms of simple furniture and lots of interesting out of action radio sets.

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Of course, you're not supposed to touch anything so what does Linh do?

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There's also a large, industrial sized kitchen with huge woks but by far my most favourite part of the Independence Palace has to be the patch of open air, landscaped greenery with a palm tree and water feature, set in the middle of the President's private living area.

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Check out my Flickr set for more photos on our visit to the Independence Palace

Visit Wikipedia for more history on the Independence Palace


This entry posted in : Tourism. Vietnam.

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