Independence Palace in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Independence Palace, also called it the Reunification Palace, is a unique architectural work, a typical historical monument and a symbol of Ho Chi Minh City. This site becomes a famous tourist destination for domestic and foreign visitors.

The image of tanks ramming the Independence Palace gate has become a symbol of the victory of Vietnam on 30 April 1975. People call it the reunification palace tank now displayed in the yard.

independence palace saigon
Independence Palace Saigon | © beejees/pixabay

Independence Palace

  • Address 1: 135 Nam Ky street uprising, District 1, HCMC
  • Address 2: 106 Nguyen Du, District 1, HCMC
  • Price of entrance fee: 400,000VND per ticket
  • Opening hours: 8:00am – 16:00am, ticket staff may take break from 11:00am – 1:00pm.
  • Everage time to visit the Reunification Palace: 1 hour
  • Phone: 0283 8223 652
independence palace map
The Independence Palace on the Google map

History of Independence Palace

Originally, at the site of the Independence Palace of nowadays was a mansion of the Governor of Cochinchine under the French colonial period. It was named Norodom Palace, built-in 1868 – 1871 with the style of Western architecture.

In 1954, the French government representative handed over the Norodom Palace to Ngo Dinh Diem’s ​​government. Then, the building was called the Independence Palace. Since then, the palace had become the residence and working place of Ngo Dinh Diem’s ​​family and his cabinet.

In 1962, the Independence Palace was destroyed. After that, Mr. Ngo had the people build another building on the old land of about 12 hectares in the center of Saigon.

But, the government of Ngo Dinh Diem collapsed. The work was still constructed and inaugurated on 31 October 1966, associated with events related to the Nguyen Van Thieu government.

The Independence Palace was built according to the design project of architect Ngo Viet Thu, the first Vietnamese to win the Roman Restoration – a prestigious architectural award in Europe.

Independence Palace architecture 

In the design, Ngo Viet Thu had cleverly combined modern Western architectural style with traditional Asian values.

The highlights of the Independence palace has a gate that goes right in the middle of the building, that reminds the roles of the leader of the public. 

reunification palace hcmc
Reunification Palace | © lets.book/flickr

But, this feature often avoids setting up for the smaller houses and villas because of the Fong-Shui technique. The designer put a water pond to reduce the Fong-Shui behind the gate and in front of the building.

Right on the front side of the building has a beautiful screen creating with ceramics, but it looks like silk.

The main palace has a height of 26m, located in the center of the land of 20,000m2 area, including an underground floor, basement floor, three main storeys, two mezzanines, and one terrace with 95 rooms with different interior decoration.

The building has subdivisions: the presidential office and the administration, the presidential family residence, an auxiliary area, and a shelter system that can withstand heavy artillery and bombs.

The project applied many modern materials and technologies at the time, such as elevators, large-sized toughened glass and ventilation systems, air-conditioners, fire protection, and modern communications.

In terms of architecture, the work is considered an excellent work of architect Ngo Viet Thu with high scientific and aesthetic value. And, the palace becomes a historical and cultural symbol of Saigoniers as well as the Vietnamese.

Reunification Palace of nowadays

At 10:45 on April 30, 1975, the tanks of the Liberation Army knocked down the gate of the Independence Palace and went straight into the building.

This event marked the victory of the Government of North Vietnam. And Vietnam becomes one country. So, the Independence Palace is also called the Reunification Palace.

The Reunification Hall is the venue for important meetings, the reception of heads of the state upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh City. The palace area is one of the famous tourist attractions in Saigon, and the special national monuments of Vietnam.

Experiencing ups and downs of history, the Reunification Palace is not only a historical witness, a symbol of harmony and unity of the country but also a typical architectural construction of the pride of Vietnamese people.

Highlight relics to visit in the Independence Palace

More than 5.000 relics are kept in the palace. Many of them are valuable artifacts for history and art. Here are the top things to look at there.

reunification palace helicopter
Reunification Palace Helicopter | ©Nick Postorino/flickr
  1. The reunification tank is displayed in the garden of the palace. This tank destroyed the main gate of the building at 10:45 am on 30 April 1975, showing the spirit of victory and reunification of the country. 
  2. The helicopter is on the roof of the palace is the UH-1 helicopter of President Nguyen Van Thieu.
  3. The system of solid armored tunnels in the Independence Palace was the place where the President of the Republic of Vietnam Nguyen Van Thieu worked, now opens to visitors. The bunker has bomb-resistant to two tons and was designed by Lieutenant Colonel, engineer Phan Van Dien.
  4. Visitors can see many valuable paintings. Up to now, the Reunification Palace is currently keeping Hoa Sen lacquer painting by painter Nguyen Gia Tri, Ke – Cuc of Thanh Le, Tung Hac embroidery paintings on velvet background (that Army General Mul Hien The gave to the Palace), and Phu Dung flowers using watercolor paintings on paper are given by the Hong Kong Consulate General in Saigon.

Note to visit the Independence Palace:

It is because this place is an important historic monument in Saigon. When visiting these sites, you need to note some rules to comply with the regulations of the monument.

  • Dress code is polite, do not wear too short, better not over the knee.
  • Do not carry luggage, food, drinks, animals, weapons, and flammable substances inside
  • Do not touch on the relics displaying
  • Do not go over the limited lines
  • Visitors are responsible for any actions that cause damage to the site.

Independence Palace is not only a symbol of Ho Chi Minh City but also the pride of the Vietnamese people. Visiting the monument will surely be a memorable experience during your holidays in the bustling city.

Will you come to the Reunification Palace when you travel to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam?

About the author

The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.