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Independence Palace: A peek into Vietnam’s history

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Ho Chi Minh City

Joanna Horanin

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Last updated at 17/04/2024, 23:00

Hi, I'm Joanna, the author of The Blond Travels. In the worlds of Thailand and Portugal, I feel like a fish in water - and it's no coincidence! I've been exploring Thailand for over a decade, and I've settled in Portugal for 6 years now. My mission is to support Dreamers - just like you - in discovering these fascinating countries and helping those in love with them find their own place on Earth, preferably for good! Let's uncover these unique corners of the world together.

Independence Palace, also known as the Reunification Palace, is a grand building in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City. In the 70s it was a home and a work place of the President of South of Vietnam. On the 30th of April 1975 a tank of North of Vietnam crashed through its gates and the palace became a symbol of the fallen opposition.

Independence Palace Ho Chi Minh City

One of the meeting rooms, where high level dignitaries used to make their decisions

The Palace’s design was based on symbols of the Eastern philosophy. The building’s plan is a rendering of an ancient ideogram meaning ‘good fortune’. The other features, like the placing of the flagstaff and three horizontal strokes illustrated by the roofing, represent wisdom, unswerving fidelity and firmness of purpose.

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Another meeting room – here the President received foreign visitors

Wide and bright corridors lead visitors through the building, giving them an opportunity to see rooms in which the President and Souther Government did their work. Among them there are also the President’s bedroom, bunkers and First Lady’s rooms.

Independence Palace Ho Chi Minh City

Wide and bright corridors lead visitors through the impressive building

On the top of the palace you will find the Salon of the 4 Cardinal Room. It was designed for meditation purposes, where the President would go to think of the country’s future. However, after a while, it was changed into a party venue, where 100 or more guests would gather to drink and dance.

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Security guard at the Palace

To me the Independence Palace was one of the most interesting things to see in Ho Chi Minh City. Unlike the museum in Da Nang it was full of informative displays and allowed the visitors to find out more about the country’s history. If you’re visiting the city and need to decide which places to see and which to avoid, this one should be on your list of must-visit spots in Saigon.