Many people said that going to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, without visiting the Independence Palace (Dinh Độc Lập) would be a big mistake. Believe it or not, Independence Palace, also known as Reunification Palace, is considered the hottest destination in Ho Chi Minh City. As a symbol of victory, territorial integrity and peace of Vietnam, this establishment witnessed a lot of significant events of the country.
To make it easy for you to explore and understand more about this destination, this article written by Vina.com team will reveal some details about Independence Palace.
I. Some Information About Independence Palace
Location: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street (Đường Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa), Ben Nghe Ward (Phường Bến Nghé), District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: All the days of the year, including weekends and public holidays:
Morning: 7:30 – 11:00
Afternoon: 13h00 – 16h00
- Adults: 40.000VND / person
- Student: 20.000 VND / person
- Students (from 6 years old to 17 years old): 10.000 VND / person
If you go in groups of 20 people or more, you will get a one-third discount.
Independence Palace is located right in Ho Chi Minh City center and very close to other tourist attractions such as Notre Dame Cathedral (Nhà thờ Đức Bà), 30/4 Park, and Central Post Office (Bưu điện Trung tâm Thành phố).
Previously, this place was the residence and workplace of the President of the Republic of Vietnam. In 2009, it was officially ranked as one of the top 10 special national monuments of Vietnam.
Spanning over a total area of 120.000m2, Independence Palace is bounded by four main streets, namely Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street in the North East, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street (Đường Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai) in the North West, Huyen Tran Cong Thanh Street (Đường Nguyễn Trần Công Khanh) in the South West, and Nguyen Du Street (Đường Nguyễn Du) in the South East.
This establishment was designed by the architect Ngo Viet Thu and contains 3 main floors, a terrace, two mezzanines, a ground floor, two basements, and a field allowing the helicopters to settle down. Inside Reunification Palace, there are more than 100 rooms with different decorations and specific using purposes, namely reception rooms, living room, meeting room, letter room, entertainment room, movie room and gallery.
II. What Are Attractions In Independence Palace?
Independence Palace is divided into 3 main exhibition areas, including fixed, special and additional areas:
1. Fixed Area
- Banquet room
- Cabinet room
- National Security Council Office
- President’s living room
- President’s office
- Vice president’s office
- The living room of the vice president
- Bedroom of the president’s family
- Common area
- Living room of the president’s wife
- Cinema room
- Entertainment room
- Room for retreat
- Communication room
- The President’s on-call room
- Jeep car
- F5E aircraft
- Tank 390
- Tank 843
The living relics are preserved in this area so well without considerable damage. That is why later generations can witness such relics with their own eyes, observe and understand part of a heroic and fierce war period of Vietnam.
2. Special Area
It is a gallery of important documents plus with photo exhibits. Here, not only will visitors be able to see lively images of the past, but they also have the opportunity to learn more about the historical details hidden within these images.
3. Additional Area
This is a gallery of photographs kept by Vietnamese people during the resisting period to regain independence for the country. People sent photos to the Independence Palace in order to have good preservation and to pass on to the descendants. That helps the young generation partly see and understand more about the heroic period of Vietnam as well as the efforts of all Vietnamese people to win and preserve independence in the past.
Currently, the Independence Palace still preserves a lot of valuable historical artifacts:
- In a fixed area, you will see the painting “Binh Ngo Bac Cao (Bình Ngô Đại Cáo)” consisting of 40 small pieces representing the peaceful life of Vietnamese people in the 15th century.
- On the roof of the Independence Palace, there is a display of UH-1 helicopter of President Nguyen Van Thieu. Adjacent to the helicopter, you will see markers of the location of the two bombs thrown by pilot Nguyen Thanh Trung.
- The Mercedes-Benz 200 W110 with the VN-13-78 license plate is one of the cars that President Nguyen Van Thieu used to drive.
- Jeep M152A2 was used by the Revolutionary Liberation Army to transport Mr. Duong Van Minh, the last president of the Republic of Vietnam to the Saigon radio station, to read the declaration of surrender at noon on April 30, 1975.
- Thanks to the presence of historical artifacts such as tank 390, tank 843, and F5E combat aircraft, the Independence Palace is gradually becoming a more attractive tourist destination of Saigon.
Also, when visiting the Palace of Independence, you also admire many famous and precious works of art, namely:
- The oil painting depicts the countryside landscape of Vietnam by architect Ngo Viet Thu.
- The oil painting depicts the encounter of Thuy Kieu, Thuy Van, and Kim Trong on New Year’s Day. These are the characters in Nguyen Du’s Tale of Kieu (Truyện Kiều của Nguyễn Du)).
- The large lacquer painting of artist Thai Van Hoc (Thái Văn Học) depicts the image of King Tran Nhan Tong (Vua Trần Nhân Tông) removing his jacket for a cold hunger.
- Many ancient ceramic pots of China from the Ming – Qing Period (thời Minh – Thanh).
Independence Palace was designed based on feng shui as well as Oriental architecture but still has modern features. After visiting the Palace, you will have the opportunity to see the documentary film named “Independence Palace – witnesses of history” for 25 minutes in the movie room.
Apart from historical factors, in the palace, there are also many ancient trees with different species planted from the French colonial period. In addition to visiting the main area, visitors can stroll on green grass outside the palace complex and admire the Palace from different angles.
III. How To Get To Independence Palace?
Regarding means of transportation to get to Reunification Palace, in addition to walking, riding a motorbike, or taking a taxi, you can take the bus. There are 5 bus routes going through Independence Palace, so you will not have trouble going to this place from various departure locations:
- Bus 001: Ben Thanh Bus Station (Bến xe Bến Thành) – Cho Lon Bus Station (Bến xe Chợ Lớn)
- Bus 002: Ben Thanh Bus Station – Mien Tay Bus Station (Bến xe Miền Tây)
- Bus 03: Ben Thanh Bus Station – Thanh Loc (Thạnh Lộc)
- Bus 04: Ben Thanh Bus Station – Cong Hoa (Công Hòa) – An Suong Bus Station (Bến xe An Sương)
- Bus 05: Cho Lon Bus Station – Bien Hoa (Biên Hòa)
IV. Some Attentions Upon Visiting Unification Palace
When visiting the Independent Palace, you need to follow some rules:
- Wear a polite outfit.
- Follow the instructions of the guard and the signs.
- Do not bring luggage, food, animals into the palace.
- Do not carry weapons or other explosive materials.
Independence Palace is not only a heroic symbol of Saigon but also the pride of the Vietnamese people. Undoubtedly, going to visit and explore this historical monument will be a memorable experience for many visitors to Ho Chi Minh City, especially those who are passionate about history.
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After reading this article, if you still have questions related to Independence Palace or other attractions in Saigon, leave a comment below. We will respond as soon as possible.
By Van Tran