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Being Vietnam's most scintillating, high-octane, exhilarating city, Ho Chi Minh will leave you in an awe-inspiring state in the first glance. Also known by the name of Saigo during earlier times, the town is the second most dynamic city in the whole world. Experience Vietnam at its best and purest form when in Ho Chi Minh City. With its pulsating energy and thrilling spirit of enthusiasm, the city has been the driving force for the development of the country in every field. It fills the heart of every dweller and traveler with cheerfulness and never-ending happiness. Visitors can spend quite a lot of time in the city and still not be able to explore it completely as it is aligned with countless heritage sites and recreational areas. One such stunning and historically rich tourist destination in the city is the Independence Palace which serves as the main highlight of the city's grandeur. Also known as Reunification Palace, it stands on the same place where once stood the Norodom Palace. Designed by a renowned Vietnamese architect the building was the abode and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the infamous Vietnam War. It was also the site of the end of the war when a North Vietnamese Army Tank banged onto the gates of the palace.
A Memorable Trip to Independence Palace
Designed by the young, famous, and brilliant Vietnamese architect, Ngo Viet Thu, the Independence Palace is a masterpiece of contemporary designing and stands out boldly in the heart of the city. Depicting the Western style of architecture, the palace is alluring both from the exteriors and the interiors. Various symbols inside the palace give a generous Indochinese touch to the structure. You will be amazed to find that the shape of the building signifies the letter T adopted from the ancient Vietnamese character meaning ‘good density' and is quite unique, and interesting feature of the building. Most notable feature here is the balconied center of the main entrance which lies in perfect sync with Chinese ideology of 'prosperity'. Easily visible from the outside all along the front façade, visitors will be enticed with the presence of elegant concrete pillars which give the impression of a bamboo grove and also acts as a shield for the glass walls inside. You will witness a stunning architecture of 1960s era when everything was delicately hand carved with utmost artistry and compassion for the art.
With its magnificent exteriors, the Independence Palace boasts of even more appealing interiors. On the ground floor, you will find an interesting suite of meeting rooms which were used for organizing discussions and delegations in the palace. As you move upstairs from the wide staircase, you will see the grand set of reception rooms that served as the venue for welcoming foreign and regional dignitaries and guests. Decorations of these rooms had a lot of variety and variations portraying characteristics of traditional and modern Vietnamese style. At the backside of the structure reside the President's living quarters where you can find model boats, horsetails, and strange elephants' feet. On the President's desk are three big phones of white, pink, and red color. The highlight of the quarter is the gold, black and brown lacquer mural of an eminent landscape which adorns the wall here. On the second floor, you can embrace a fascinating card playing room, a bar made in the shape of a barrel, a round leather banquette, and stunning three-legged chairs which were aligned around a card table. Palace's recreational section finds its place on the third floor where resides a cinema hall in cherry red interiors along with a spacious entertainment room with a leather sofa and a Formica bar. The helipad is on the west wing of the roof of the palace.
Built in the late 1880s by the French colonies, the Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is a masterpiece of exceptional architectural brilliance. Taking pride in being one of the existing symbols of Catholicism in the city, it measures to nearly sixty meters in height. Grabbing attention is the cathedral's stunning features in its exteriors and interiors which portray neo-Romanesque designing. All-red brick façade along with stained glass windows, two towering bell towers adorned with six iconic bells that still fill the atmosphere with their sweet noise and a scenic garden which resides in the heart of the downtown. You will find a flock of people around the Virgin Mary statue that stands in front of Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral who come here in the hope of witnessing some miracle. It serves for religious offerings by the local population as well the tourists from across the world. As you pay a visit to the cathedral make sure to check your attire as it should not hurt the sentiments of other people.
How to Get Tickets?
Entrance fee is VND 30,000 which is to be purchased from the entrance gate. You can also book your tickets online through this website.
How To Get Around?
Exploring the palace on foot is quite easy.
What Should I Wear?
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the place is between 7:30 am to 11 am, and 1 pm to 4 pm on all days of the week.
Currency is Vietnamese Dong.
Will I Need a Guide?
How To Get There?
You can reach Ho Chi Minh City via airways, railways, and roadways. Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the main airport of the city and has connecting flights worldwide.
You can carry small bags inside. Don't touch any object inside.