Curiosities of Ho Chi Minh City!!

I was browsing what to write in my blog, and got a call from one of my friends in Vietnam. This led to look into my Ho Chi Minh City picture vault and found a couple not in my blog. Therefore, here are some curiosities of Ho Chi Minh City, a hotel and a museum! Hope you enjoy it as I.

This was my first ever hotel in 2012, and just one time! Memories lingered forever. And of course, was my first hotel so cannot find direct pictures of it just from it yikes!!!

Hotel Grand Silverland, in district 1 ,right in the middle by the great famous market of Ben Thanh. This is as a classic hotel as you can find, old look, and modern facilities throughtout, with a great breakfast,and easy walking to the market, muséums,and lively street life of the city.  It has a wonderful rooftop pool and resto with fabulous views of Saigon (now HCMC).  Pic below  looking from my room to corner going to Ben Thanh market!

hcmc looking out window grand silverland hotel nov12

As said, it is only a 2 minute walk to the bustling Bến Thành Market and 1 km from the War Remnants Museum and an 8-minute walk from the Reunification palace.(see post on all).  Also, 400 meters from the Mariamman Temple. The hotel ,also includes mini-golf, a gym, and a spa with sauna and massage services. However, the best for me was the roofstop pool and restaurant!

I really enjoy it but I guess was done to impress me as later I had to use other hotels just as nice thus (see post), It will be my memorable moment walking to Ben Thanh market at night !! The Hotel Grand Silverland webpage:

I passed several times here and did get into the gardens, only one passing picture as souvenir but a wonderful memory and great friends. The Gia Long Palace , now officially the Ho Chi Minh City Museum is situated at the corner of Lý Tự Trọng and Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa streets, located on 2 hectares of land, near the Independence Palace. It was established in 1975, and this museum is full of interesting pieces of Vietnamese history and culture, such as ceramics, old maps of the city and displays of traditional marriages between ethnic minorities. The garden outside is popular for wedding photographs or as a break for tired tourists like me!

hcmc Ho Chi Minh City Museum former Gia Long Palace nov12

A bit of history I like , is really ups and downs !

The construction of the palace began in 1885 and completed in 1890, and was designed to house the Museum of Commercial Trade, exhibiting products and goods of Southern Vietnam. However, the building soon became the residence of the Governor of Cochinchina (historical area of south Vietnam including the Mekong Delta and the south east).   In 1945, control of the palace changed hands several times. After the Japanese Imperial Army toppled the colonial regime of French Indochina on March 9 1945 ,the palace became the residence for Japanese Governor , On August 14, 1945 the Japanese handed over the palace to its puppet Empire of Vietnam government , After, the building became the headquarters of the Provisional Administrative Committee of Southern Vietnam, later renamed the People’s Committee of Southern Vietnam. On September 10, 1945 Lt. Col. B. W. Roe (from the British military mission) occupied the palace and made it the Allied Mission headquarters, evicting the People’s Committee. On October 5, 1945 the building was used by General Leclerc as the temporary headquarters of the High Commission for the French Republic in Indochina ; the palace was used as Leclerc’s office, this time as the official headquarters of the Commissioner of the French Republic in Southern Vietnam.

After the French reconquest of Indochina, on June 2, 1948 the French government handed over the building to the Provisional Government of the State of Vietnam, establishing its headquarters there. It was later transformed into the Palace of the Premier, serving as official residence of the Premier of the State of Vietnam. From June 26 to September 7, 1954, this palace was used as the temporary official residence of the Prime Minister, French High Commissioner. Bảo Đại renamed the palace to Gia Long Palace, and its street was renamed Gia Long Street. This was also the last residence of President of the Republic of Vietnam, The Supreme Court of the Republic of Vietnam was housed in the Palace, from October 31, 1966 to April 30, 1975, the Fall of Saigon.  On 12 August 1978 the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee ordered that the former Supreme Court be used as the Ho Chi Minh City Revolutionary Museum , later renamed to its current name of the Ho Chi Ming City Museum on 13 December 1999.

A bit on the construction/architecture I like

The 2-floored palace building covers an area over 1700 m², using classical Baroque architecture with European and Oriental influences. The flooring, staircases and halls were European-styled, while the roof was Oriental-inspired. Surrounding the palace is a trapezoid-shaped flower garden, with 4 pathways. There were built three extremely deep tunnels leading from the palace to other parts of the city so that the President and important government officials/military figures could escape in the event of a coup. Which it came anyway ! The tunnels were 2.2 m high, with cast reinforced concrete . Walls were 1 m thick, with 6 iron vault doors for entry and exit. The tunnels had 2 downward stairs, leading to a basement with 6 rooms, which included conference rooms, offices, bathrooms, electrical rooms. The Presidential Office and Presidential Adviser’s Offices were equipped with battery banks for uninterruptible power supply, portable radios, RCA transceivers. There are two exit tunnels that run towards Le Thanh Ton Street as well as six ventilation holes and numerous sewage drainages. 

The oifficial Ho Chi Minh City museum :

There you go folks, a dandy combo in a dandy city of Asia, Ho Chi Minh City, memories for a lifetime. Hope you enjoy the post as I, and worth the detour to visit these places.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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3 Comments to “Curiosities of Ho Chi Minh City!!”

  1. Great Read! I would love to visit Vietnam

    Liked by 1 person

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