Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum
Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog› entry 14 of 28 › view all entries
January 24th, 2010 – by: kirowind
Yesterday, I got back into sightseeing mode. First stop was the Reunification Palace. Located in central Saigon, this is the palace where the North Vietnamese tanks stormed into and where the South Vietnamese government surrendered effectively eradicating all foreign influence in the entire nation. It has huge open grounds and feels like how a palace for the head of state would feel. Many of the interior rooms have been untouched and preserved from that moment in April 1975. The top floors have official reception rooms for the President, Vice President and First Lady, along with other rooms like a library, dining rooms, cinema, and a helipad on the roof with a replica helicopter. The basement is a large network of concrete tunnels, acting as a bomb shelter with war rooms featuring maps and radio equipment.
From there, I went to find the War Remnants Museum. It is pretty much a display of the war atrocities committed by the French and American occupiers. It was formerly named the American War Crimes Museum before the two nations normalized relations again. In the courtyard are several American military vehicles like a Huey helicopter, tanks, mobile artillery and fighter planes. A part of the courtyard houses examples of torture devices and cells called tiger cages used by the South Vietnamese prison of Phu Quoc.
The rest of the evening was spent slowly making my way back to the hotel.
Fast forward to today, we got called in to the police station to pay the fine and Mike had to write a statement saying he wouldn't cause any more trouble in Vietnam or risk being deported. So as far as I can tell, he's in the clear with no restrictions on his visa. He's still feeling a bit uneasy so we're going to stay in today. Tomorrow, we'll go to the Mekong Delta for a day and night and then take a boat into the capitol of Cambodia, Phnom Penh on Wednesday. That will mark the end of 22 days in Vietnam.
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