The Reunification Palace
The Reunification Palace
"Reunification Palace (Hoi
Truong Thong Nhat) is one of the most fascinating things to see in Saigon,
said Daniel Robinson and Joe Cummings, the two authors of a
famous travel survival book about Vietnam.
With regard to history this
building witnessed every historic events happening to the Saigon government
until the regime finally collapsed in April 30, 1975.
Twenty years after the
liberation of Saigon, the name of this historical building has become familiar
to every inhabitant of this city. However, formerly, in the Saigon regime, the
building was known as Dinh Doc Lap (which means the Independence Palace) where
different presidents of South Vietnam resided.
Under the Saigon regime,
the "Independence Palace" always symbolized the power of the government of
"South Vietnam." In the end, on the morning of April 30, 1975, a tank of the
Liberation forces crashed into the iron gate of the palace terminating the
existence of a regime.
In addition to historic value,
the Reunification Palace is also famed for its architectural characteristics
which are unique in Vietnam. History has it that in 1868 a palace for the
General Governor of Cochinchina, then a French colony, was built on what is now
the Independence Palace.
The building later became the
presidential palace of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) following the
1954 Geneva Treaty. Later, a new design for the building was carefully drawn up
by Ngo Viet Thu, one of the most talented Vietnamese architects. The new
building was constructed on the site and completed in 1966.
Located in the heart of downtown
Saigon, the Reunification Palace was built on a block of 12 hectares, bordering
four streets: Nam Ky Khoi Nghia in the front (the main entrance is open to Le
Duan Boulevard), Huyen Tran Cong Chua in the back, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai on the
right and Nguyen Du on the left. Surrounded by immense lawns and high trees in
its gardens, the main building of the palace is modern architecture, typical of
Before 1975, access to the
palace and some surroudning areas was prohibited to the public. Now the site has
become a famous tourist attraction in HCM City. The palace hosts about 700-1,000
tourists per day on average. According to Mr. Bui Duc Huy, the palace's
director, the number of visitors can amount to 2,500-3,000 on Sundays.
The Reunification Palace is open
all the week from 7 :30 am to 11 :30 am and 1 :00 pm to 5:00 pm. Entrance fee:
VND2,000 a child and VND15,000 an adult. Tel: 294117.