The Independence Palace (Reunification Palace)
135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, VietnamTelephone
+84 8 3822 3652 | +84-80.85037 | +84-80.85038 | +84-80. 85039 | +84-83.8223652Email Fax
+84-80-85008More information Prices
Adult/child 30,000/5000dOpening hours
Open daily from 7:30 – 11:00 am, 1:00 – 4:30 pm
The iconic Reunification Palace made its name in global history when in 1975 a tank belonging to the North Vietnamese Army crashed through its main gate – thus signifying the end of the Vietnam War. This image is one of the most famous pictures depicting the Reunification Palace which has seen a rich and varied history and once served as the base of the US-backed Vietnamese General Ngo Dinh Diem during the Vietnam War, until his assassination in 1963.
The palace is like a time capsule frozen in 1975 with two of the original tanks used in the capture of the palace parked in the grounds. Originally the site of the Nordom Palace also known as the Governor’s Palace its first role was as a home and workplace for the then French Governor of Cochinchina. The Reunification Palace is a landmark not to be missed by any tourist visiting Ho Chi Minh City. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the palace hides secret rooms, antique furniture and a command bunker within its eerie corridors. The Reunification Palace is still in use to host occasions including APEC summits and national events of significant importance.
Location and history
Like Long Bien Bridge in Hanoi, Reunification Palace (formerly known as Independence Palace) has stayed in the mind of many generations of not only Vietnamese but also foreigners. It is known as the famous historical witness which passed through the two fierce wars against the French and American colonists. The palace was built on the site of the former Norodom Palace, a landmark in Ho Chi Minh City and designed by architect Ngo Viet Thu. As Vietnam was split into North Vietnam and South Vietnam, the building served as presidential home and workplace. Today in most locals' minds, the palace is remembered vividly as a marked end to the war, just like the fall of Berlin Wall, as the North Vietnamese tank crashed its gates on April 30th, 1975.
Its current address is at 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City - right at one end of Le Duan Street. It borders other 3 streets: Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street in the back, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street on the right and Nguyen Du on the left.
A witness of history
Reunification Palace’s architecture is a blend of traditional ritual and modern architecture, typical of the 60s’. However, the design of the complex is not as appealing to tourists as all the historical events related to this building. Wandering around its rooms, visitors may be reminded of various important moments in the past of Vietnam, especially the war command room with its huge maps and old communication equipment, as well as the basement labyrinth. The building now functions as a museum, where visitors can view the F5E fighter plane which bombed the palace on 8thApril 1975 and tank 843 which led the final assault through the palace gate at 11.30AM on 30th April 1975.
Since its construction, the building has gone through several renovation. A major work was undertaken from 1962 to 1963, which made the President change his office temporarily to Gia Long Palace, which is now the location of Ho Chi Minh City Museum. Much political turbulence led to the come and go of several South Vietnam President, until 1975 when the war officially ended and Vietnam became one country.
Reunification Palace highlights
The Reunification Palace is a five-storey building with the basement housing a warren of tunnels, a war room and telecommunications centre. The war command room still has maps on its walls and period telecommunications equipment on display, whilst adjoining basement rooms feature war propaganda materials. Other areas of interest are the third floor featuring a card playing room, a fourth floor which once had a casino and was used for entertaining guests and a rooftop terrace with a heliport.
The Reunification Palace entered the world history books in 1975 when a Vietnamese Air Force pilot (who was also a communist spy) flew an aircraft over the palace with an attempt to bomb it. Although no real damage was caused this was a significant step towards the fall of Saigon and the ending of the Vietnamese War.
On 30th April in 1975 at 10:45 a North Vietnamese Army Tank rammed the main gates and entered the palace grounds before hanging its flag on the balcony to declare victory for the communist party and thus ending the Vietnam War. Meanwhile staff escaped from the rooftop minutes before the palace was overrun, known as Operation Frequent Wind this was part of history’s biggest ever helicopter evacuation and included the departure of General Thieu.
Surrounded by Royal Palm trees, the dissonant 1960s architecture of this government building and the eerie mood that accompanies a walk through its deserted halls make it an intriguing spectacle. The first Communist tanks to arrive in Saigon rumbled here on 30 April 1975 and it’s as if time has stood still since then. The building is deeply associated with the fall of the city in 1975, yet it's the kitsch detailing and period motifs that steal the show.
After crashing through the wrought-iron gates – in a dramatic scene recorded by photojournalists and shown around the world – a soldier ran into the building and up the stairs to unfurl a VC flag from the balcony. In an ornate reception chamber, General Minh, who had become head of the South Vietnamese state only 43 hours before, waited with his improvised cabinet. ‘I have been waiting since early this morning to transfer power to you’, Minh said to the VC officer who entered the room. ‘There is no question of your transferring power’, replied the officer. ‘You cannot give up what you do not have.’
In 1868 a residence was built on this site for the French governor-general of Cochinchina and gradually it expanded to become Norodom Palace. When the French departed, the palace became home to the South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem. So unpopular was Diem that his own air force bombed the palace in 1962 in an unsuccessful attempt to kill him. The president ordered a new residence to be built on the same site, this time with a sizeable bomb shelter in the basement. Work was completed in 1966, but Diem did not get to see his dream house as he was killed by his own troops in 1963.
The new building was named Independence Palace and was home to the successive South Vietnamese president, Nguyen Van Thieu, until his hasty departure in 1975. Designed by Paris-trained Vietnamese architect Ngo Viet Thu, it is an outstanding example of 1960s architecture, with an airy and open atmosphere.
The ground floor is arranged with meeting rooms, while upstairs is a grand set of reception rooms, used for welcoming foreign and national dignitaries. In the back of the structure are the president’s living quarters; check out the model boats, horse tails and severed elephants’ feet. The 2nd floor contributes a shagadelic card-playing room, complete with a cheesy round leather banquette, a barrel-shaped bar, hubcap light fixtures and groovy three-legged chairs set around a flared-legged card table. There’s also a cinema and a rooftop nightclub, complete with helipad: James Bond/Austin Powers – eat your heart out.
Perhaps most fascinating of all is the basement with its telecommunications centre, war room and warren of tunnels, where hulking old fans chop the air and ancient radio transmitters sit impassively. Towards the end are rooms where videos appraise the palace and its history in Vietnamese, English, French, Chinese and Japanese. The national anthem is played at the end of the tape and you are expected to stand up – it would be rude not to.
Reunification Palace is open to visitors as long as official receptions or meetings aren’t taking place. English- and French-speaking guides are on duty during opening hours.
Good to know about Reunification Palace
The Reunification Palace is open from 07:30-12:00 then 13:00-16:00. Tickets are purchased at the main gate and visitors will be checked for security reasons. Free guided tours are available in English, French, Japanese and Chinese (invaluable as there are not many signboards inside).
The palace is situated on Man Ky Khoi Nghia Street close to the Ben Thanh Market with the main gate located on the east side of the palace gardens.
Reviews by visitors
The Independence Palace is a time capsule and worth the time it takes to wander through the many long hallways. The hallways are wide and open, but the stairs are narrow, so it was only in the stairwells that you really felt the crowds.
President Diem commissioned the building of the Palace but unfortunately was assassinated shortly after construction started. The building was completed in 1966 on the site of the former Norodom Palace. The Palace became the home of then President of South Vietnam Nguyen Van Thieu until the fall of Saigon in 1975.
Reunification Palace’s architecture is a mix of traditional and modern architecture of the late 1960s.
Inside the Palace was very interesting! Information on various important events I could read about, I saw the war command room with its huge maps and old communication equipment, as well as the basement labyrinth. I loved seeing the original furnishings of the Palace.
Outside is a F5E fighter plane which bombed the palace on 8th April 1975 and tank 843 which led the final assault through the palace gate at 11.30AM on 30th April 1975 - this is what it is most remembered for.
OPEN all the week from 7.30 AM to 11.30AM and 1.00PM to 5.00 PM.
ADMISSION FEE IN 2013
ADULTS VND 20,000
Guided tours in English are also available.
Getting there is extremely easy by taxi, motorbike or walking, as the palace is so well-known and right in the center.
Its a good idea to buy the book with the admission fee, as it shows photos and info on everything in the museum, I think better than my own attempts of photos.
Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1, HCMC
Directions: Right at one end of Le Duan Street. It borders other 3 streets: Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street in the back, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street on the right and Nguyen Du on the left.
Built on the site of Norodom Palace, which was the home of the French Governor General.
The South Vietnam President lived here during the Vietnam war. It was here through the gates that a North Vietnamese tank drove through the gates to mark the fall of Saigon on April 30th 1975.
For those who are able to recall the iconic photograph of tanks of the then North Vietnamese army bursting through the gates of this palace on 30 April 1975, you should include this place in your itinerary. The two tanks are placed at the palace grounds for visitors to view. Inside the building, there are quite a number of rooms (very well preserved as were the contents) each with their own purpose and significance. Well worth a visit.
Greatplace to wonder around for a couple hours.
Has a bunker set up underground but you can only go in some areas. Also a huey on the roof with markings of where the bombs hit. Read the plaques and wonder by yourself. No need for a guide here. Just pay $1usd entry. Lots of stairs but lifts are available. Good insight into the war in Saigon. Would recommend doing private Cu Chi tunnels first and war museum to learn the real history first.
The Palace is a good place to spend a rainy afternoon (or even a sunny day). The modest outside of the Palace would have you fooled, as too would the interior. From the inside, the large, non-ostentatious rooms make it look more like a grand home, or even a war office than a Palace.
The basement takes you back in time, where there are displays in the rooms of what it looked like during the war, acting as a war-office.
Each room and area of the Palace have easily accessible signs, allowing you to read in English, French (or Vietnamese) what each room was used for.
Fascinating glimpse into the pro-American regime in power in the south. The building itself is impressive (claimed to be the most expensive building in Vietnam at the time that it was built in the 1960's) but the fact that its contents have been preserved from the time of the fall of Saigon is what makes it a must see for anyone interested in the political history of Vietnam or the decorative styling of the 1960's.
The history of this building is completely fascinating, but the actual building itself is not quite all that exciting. There are a few things that are of interest, and the rooms are very well appointed (some of them), be sure to check out the roof (complete with helicopter) and the basement area as well.
There is so much history to see in this building. You get a good feel for the opulence of the ruling government in the 60s and 70s. The different reception rooms and office spaces are wonderfully preserved. You have access even to the basement where they were to survive during an attack. Even during peak season, there is enough space to enjoy the building and grounds.
The Reunification Palace was designed by architect Ngô Viết Thụ and was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was the site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates. It stands a symbol of the resiliency of the Vietnamese people against the tryanny of communism and the United States. It is also a great place to visit to get a good feel of what the strategic aspect of the war was for the Vietanmese.
In the basement of the palace they still have the same ancient communication equipment and maps used during the war and the place will make you feel like you are on the set of "MASH". The upper floors have war relics displayed and many photos of US soldiers and personnal making a mad dash for the departing helicopters during the Fall of Saigon. You will also see the palace dining rooms and other rooms used by the Vietnamese elite. If you keep going up the stairs it will lead to the roof where there are great views of the city and you can see the part of the roof that was bombed during the war.
The grounds around the palace are beautiful and much like a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle from the city. The grounds are highlighted by a picturesque fountain and several tanks on display. The following is the entrance fees and operating hours: Entrance Fee:15000VND. Opening hours:7:30AM - 11 AM / 1PM - 4.30PM
The reunification palace used to be the presidential palace when Saigon was the capital of south Vietnam.
It´s in my opinion a pretty ugly building and also not the most interesting building to see inside, but there is a lot of history to it, so i still recommend that you pop by there anyway.
The most interesting thing about the palace are actually the two tanks parked outside the palace as they were the two tanks that officially ended the Vietnam war by driving through the gates to the palace.
If you don´t want to pay the entrance to the palace then you can easily see it from the pavement, but entrance fees in Vietnam are small so you might wanna go in there even if it´s not the biggest sight in town.
There are always so many things to see and do when out and about...Time is usually the main factor governing what we have time to see...The Reunification Palace in H.C.M.C is really worth the visit..My thoughts upon walking into the Entrance here was the vision of the Tank (#843) crashing through the gates on April 30th 1975..The day that South Vietnam surrendered and the war finished.This Palace was the residence of the then South Vietnamese premier Nguyen Van Thieu.
There are many things to view inside and outside the Palace their are many military vehicles including Tank #843. The Palace today is as it was in 1975 (except for new gates)
Address: Enter @D Nam Ky Koi Nghia
Directions: Open from 7-30am till 11.00 am & 1.00pm till 4pm.
Admission is 15,000 Dong
There are English and French speaking guides.
The Reunification Palace is located on the area where the Norodom Palace was formerly erected way back during the French colonial period. The French governor resided there and during Japanese occupation, it became also their headquarters. The Palace was destroyed during the Vietnam War when an aircraft bombed the left wing of the palace. It was then replaced by the current structure which was occupied by then President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was the site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates. The communist North Vietnam and its allies in South Vietnam established the provisional government there and thereafter renamed the palace, Reunification Hall.
This Hall has a lot of convention halls, entertainment room, meeting room, war room, ballroom (im serious) and the President's office.
Reunification Palace is one the most important attractions in Ho Chi Minh City because it was the site where Vietnam war was ended. This palace was the home and workplace for the President of south Vietnam. It hosted many important meetings, and greeted many leaders from other countries. In April 30, 1975, North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates and declared the victory of the communist party, ending the Vietnam war.
You expect to see modern architecture of the building surrounded by beautiful green landscape. Inside, you can see the President office, meeting halls, conference halls, guest lodge, and outdoor deck to view the City.
Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, HCMC 70000
We ran into some fellow traveler's who told us to avoid going inside this old building, but of course we didn't listen and went ahead and went inside !!!! AGAIN !!! Should have listen to my fellow traveler's !!! nothing to see inside, it's old chairs, old telephone's it's like the place stood still in time !!!! there's nothing inside that's worth the time to see. Avoid it if you can, better from the outside and the park across the street.
This is where the famous photo of the tank knocking over the fence was taken thus ending the Vietnam war for those in the west.
So the group decided to take a leisurely 30 minute walk to the Reunification Palace from our hotel. It was supposedly designed with the help of Soviet architects. The tank which crashed through its gates (associated to the fall of Saigon) still graces the front lawn. The rooms that were open to the public remain exactly as they were in 1975. I enjoyed the underground tunnels housing a telecommunications center -- I really got to live out my spy thriller fantasies!
Reeunification palace or Thong Nhat Conference Hall is a Presidential Palace. It was built in 1865 on the grounds of Norodom Palace as a residence for the French Governor General of Cochinchina.It was designed by Western-trained architect Ngo Viet Thu. The construction was undertaken by Saigon engineers and was completed in 1966.
The five-story building consists of 100 rooms and chambers decorated with the finest modern Vietnamese arts and crafts. The ground floor room has a boat-shaped table that was often used for conferences. Upstairs, a room called Phu Dau Rong was where Nguyen Van Thieu received foreign delegations. The residential quarters are in the back of the building. On the third floor, there is a card-playing room. This floor also possesses a terrace with a heliport where a helicopter is parked. The fourth floor was used for dancing, and even had a casino. The most interesting part of the building is probably the basement containing a network of tunnels, a telecommunication centre, and a war room.
Rntrance Ticket : 15,000 dong
Ticket sales : 7:30 am until 11:00 am and 13:00Pm until 16:00Pm.
Palace open: 7:30 Am until noon , 13:00 until 17:00 Pm
They also provide free guided tours ( English, French, Chinese and Japanese.
Some rooms in the palace are available for hire for meeting and banquets.
The palace also has facilities for celebrations such as weddings and birthday parties.
Address: Reunification Palace
Directions: Thong Nhat Conference Hall is located on No.106 Nguyen Du Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
Phone: 0808 5038 or 0808 5037
The French built predecessor was a magnificent building. After the bombing, the sad decision not to repair was a travesty. The replacement palace is a very uninspiring building. The tank which crashed through the front gate on 30 April 1975 is on display at the opposite end of this boulevard.
We couldn't believe how large the palace is. The public has very generous access to view most of the rooms. We would have benefitted from taking an organised tour to gain more understanding of the historical significance. My son especially enjoyed the bunker level. The palace is closed between 12:00 - 1:00pm.
Is a normal presidential palace, I have visited a few and they are more likely the same. Some details are nice as, no air conditioned (is from 1960) so have thousands of windows open. You can imagine ( a number of pictures and written explanations help you to think in the pre war living there and during the war) The bunker is fantastic, first one that I have chance of visiting, very interesting, and was used at least one time during bombings. The lush gardens outside are beautiful.
They have two Vietcong (Patriots' side they say) tanks, same that broke in tearing down the main entrance's metallic fence. (It is an iconic picture of the end of the war)
I definitely come back again to this nice place.
A warning! Weird schedules!! 7:30 to 11 and 1:30 to 4. More or less.
Amazing historic history of vietnam , the amazing underground bunkers used to house up 4000 troops, incredible communcation and war rooms old kitchen used to feed the troops, well worth the visit
It is centrally located and the best photo opportunity is posing with the tanks that lie scattered in the outside garden. There are impressive banquet halls and ornately furnished rooms that tell the tale of a bygone era. The artifacts are very well preserved and can be viewed without a rush unless a large horde of tourists descend!!! It's a perfect place to escape the balmy afternoon humidity. There is a helicopter on the roof, so don't miss it. The underground bunker is like the set of a war movie and the claustrophobic surroundings remind us of the determination of the army. It's worth a visit with a nominal entry fee
The former government offices of south vietnam now known as the independence palace. The sight is where the surrender of the south was taken and where the unification speech was given. It is also the sight of the famous hovering helicopter that evacuted the americans when they withdrew.
The palace is only open from 8am untill 12 and then it close for lunch and reopens at 1:30pm. Tickets are not so expencive about 90.000. The palace grounds are beautiful and there are tanks and a F5 jet on display.
This palace is well kept and i recommend self touring. Many signs are in english and tell you everything about the use of the room and the recent history of the palace. It does its best not to mention the former republic of south vietnam use. The bunker however gives an incite into the former use.
It's well worth a visit for the design of the place alone....60s / retro with a mix of grandeur and practicality. Lot's to learn and a very good way to spend and hour or two. All age groups would enjoy as it's light and airy (plenty of air conditioning!) and quite varied. Easy to walk to from many of the tourist city centre hotels and you could then take in various other sights nearby.
Great to see alot of the building is still untouched. Learnt alot of the story here as we had an awesome guide .. I recommend going with a guide as they can explain in alot better detail than what is written on the signage
We loved going here, especially after watching documentaries on TV about this building. Such a lot of history here. In the bunkers below the building you can see where the Americans had their headquarters!! Also upstairs were some very regal rooms that the then Vietnamese president held many meetings.
We enjoyed seeing the period (read that 1960s) outside and inside although no longer actively used. Essentially converted to a museum in place. Really interesting to see the areas left as they were from the war era yet well maintained for the most part and on very nice park-like grounds. Adds some context to the period represented.
Vietnam independence palace is quite interesting like going back into communist time with many private meeting rooms, bedrooms and underground fortress below. Good architecture in surprising chinese style. Souvenirs shop there is nicely designed yet reasonably priced.
Just found it surreal to be here it's amazing to be able to walk through this building on all floors, there is great information either by a self walking tour or just reading the information when viewing the rooms The staff were very friendly and helpful
Reasonably priced, nice open air palace. You can walk through at your own pace. I assume you can take the tram ride around the grounds as part of your ticket but we just walked it instead. Have to watch your timing though so you don't show up during lunch time (12-1 we think).
I am amazed. The place is like vacuum sealed from the 1966. The furniture and set up is of the area. Even the flooring mosaic remains unblemished. Have to say they have maintained this place very well.
Entry ticket price is 30,000 Dong which is reasonable. There are open displays of different rooms. The design and furnishing are as per the photo displays noted on the side of the room. Impressive feat. Had fun comparing the photo versus current state and noted most of the things are quite similar.
The walk in the bunker reminds me of those war movies, a bit stuffy as it is not very well ventilated but worthwhile to have a look.
The Independence Palace is a very well- maintained building of historical significance. The primary reason the Palace is important goes back to the Vietnamese War. The rooms showcase what life was like for high- ranking South Vietnamese leaders during the Vietnamese War. There is a large amount of history and nostalgia contained in that building. This is definitely worth a visit and a good opportunity to take many photographs!
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