The Independence Palace, Ho Chi Minh City

Captured in the historic 1975 photograph of a North Vietnamese military tank crashing through its gates, The Independence Palace played a pivotal role in the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War. The interior of the palace has remained nearly intact since it was built as a residence of the South Vietnamese president in 1966. Its desolate halls and rooms are time capsules, displaying period-style furnishings and motifs--conference rooms, reception halls, a war room, a telecommunication center, and tunnels in the basement. Check out the president's living quarters, featuring bizarre decorations, such as actual elephant feet. At the entrance you can see a Vietnamese T-54 tank and the roof is topped with a model of a presidential helicopter. Plan to visit The Independence Palace during your Ho Chi Minh City vacation using our convenient Ho Chi Minh City trip planner .
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The Independence Palace Reviews
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  • This was an incredible building with tanks, a helicopter and war rooms in the bunkers under the building. Left as it was during the Vietnam War.  more »
  • Very interesting to see the 1960’s architecture and design and also get to know the significance it has in the history of Vietnam. We recommend to pay the additional 80k VND for the very good audio gu...  more »
  • A highlight of our trip. We spent ages wandering through the rooms admiring the architecture and enjoying the history lessons. We felt like we were in an old Bond movie- a martini on the roof would ha...  more »
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  • I absolutely fell in love with the architecture/design of the Independence Palace complex. I have visited it three times in the past few years whenever I am in Saigon. Obviously, there is the whole history part of the Vietnam War with this complex. This was the building where the South Vietnamese president and his administration conducted the war between 1967-1975. If you are part of the tour, you will most likely end up here. If you are on your own, make sure that you go all the way to the above levels. The signage and direction here are confusing. On my last visit, they did not allow people to walk on the main stairs but failed to tell us to use the side stairs. We thought the above levels were closed. The building is not AC but the open design allows for breezes. The exterior ground landscape is also beautiful. Make sure to stroll the outdoor area and take some pictures. If you are thirsty, stop by the little cute hut for fresh coconut juice or other drinks. PS: I would recommend a visit to both the Independence Palace and the War Remnants Museum if you are interested in the Vietnam War history. Do keep your mind open however because you will run into various propaganda.
  • A great place to wander around for a few hours. Although it's still occasionally used for state functions, it remains a snapshot in time to the late 60's - both in its architecture and furnishings. A real sense of history where Saigon was liberated/fell to the communist forces in 1975.
  • Not really much things to see but if you wanted to know a bit about this place on how and why it was constructed before war. It's good to go. But only Once 😉 but then the interior design was quite nice
  • An interesting building and an insight into Vietnam’s political history. Presentation of the various rooms and areas was a bit basic. There could be more comprehensive information provided. Audio guide was expensive and provided only slightly more information than the information signs.
  • Palace itself is beautiful. Definitely pay the extra for the audio tour if you go. We did not get the audio tour, and I don't feel like we were really able to understand what we were looking and or learn much without it.

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Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City absorbs all kinds of travelers, from the swarms of young backpackers on tight budgets to traveling businesspeople and luxury experience seekers. District 1 is the place to stay for proximity to sights, nightlife, and restaurants. Hostels around Pham Ngu Lao draw backpackers looking for the basics, small bed and breakfasts offer quieter and more private options for just a slightly higher price, and smart mid-range and luxury hotels provide immaculate service and indoor spas and pools.
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