The Reunification Palace of Ho Chi Minh City ! Vehicules !!

Coming  to Asia,and Vietnam on several occassions in the last 10 years, and blog posts all over, I like to bring you to one building that emcompassed the different periods in Vietnamese history.  Again ,I take you bak to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) or old Saigon and the Presidential palace or Reunification  Palace. This is an updated post that I will split into three sections with new links, of course some text will be repeated. This time the vehicules story; hope you enjoy it as I.  Now as said before Saigon is also a district in the city ,and you may hear many Vietnamese calling the city still by this name; but it does not mean they use it as opposition to the one party totalitarian system there. Simply a matter of traditions.

Now, I passed by several times and was enthusiastically by the locals about it, until one day , they asked if wanted to see it. Been in love with history , of course, told them yes. It was a very nice experience to now see what I have heard for many years.  Let me tell you a bit more about the Palace of Reunification formerly known as the Palace of Independence or Palace of Norodom, is a historic building of Ho Chi Minh City.

The helicopter for protection of the President and troops

hcmc-reuni-palace-helicopter-pad-2ndfl-mar16

hcmc-reuni-palace-helicopter-pad-of-president-mar16

I will give a bit of history I like (short version from exteriors)

In 1858, France launched an attack on Da Nang, starting its invasion of Vietnam. In 1867, France completed its conquest of southern Vietnam (Cochinchina), comprising the provinces of Bien Hoa, Gia Dinh, Dinh Tuong, Vinh Long, An Giang, and Ha Tien.  The new palace was built between 1868 and 1873 for the king of Cambodia Norodom Ier. The complex covered an area of 12 hectares, including  the palace with an 80-meter-wide façade, a guest-chamber capable of accommodating 800 people, with spacious gardens covered by green trees and a lawn. Most of the building materials were imported from France. From 1887 to 1945, all Governor-General of French Indochina used the palace as their residence and office.

In 1945, Japan defeated and replaced  France in French Indochina in a successful coup. Norodom Palace became the headquarters of Japanese colonial officials in Vietnam. In September 1945, Japan surrendered to the Allied forces in WWII and France returned to Vietnam and Norodom Palace was restored to its position as the office of the French local governement. In 1954, France surrendered to the Viet Minh after its defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. France agreed to sign the Geneva Accords and withdrew its troops from Vietnam. According to the accords, Vietnam would be divided pending general elections. The 17th parallel  would act as the temporary border until a vote based on universal suffrage was held to establish a unified Vietnamese government. North Vietnam was under the control of the Việt Minh communists, while South Vietnam was under the anti-communist State of Vietnam. Of course, wishful thinking this never happened as the North stay in power on their side and the South on theirs for many years afterwards.

The Presidential Mercedes Benz car

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In 1962,  the current  president then gave the order to have it demolished and built in its place the present palace, The President, who was assassinated in a coup d’état in 1963, did not see the end of the work. The new palace was completed in 1966 and remained a presidential residence until April 1975.  The USA been heavily involved after the French left on the pretext of a UN resolution but more for the oils reserves along the Mekong Delta was finally defeated , leaving the country on the whims of the Viet Cong of North Vietnam. In November 1975, after the negotiation convention between the communist North Vietnam and their colleagues in South Vietnam was completed, the Provisional Revolutionary Government  renamed the palace Reunification Hall . As well as the new Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The US surrender jeep below

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The official Independence palace as it is known officially todayhttps://independencepalace.gov.vn/relic/history-of-the-independent-palace/

The official Vietnam tourist office on Ho Chi Minh City: https://vietnam.travel/places-to-go/southern-vietnam/ho-chi-minh-city

The Unofficial Vietnam guide on the Reunification palacehttp://www.vietnam-guide.com/ho-chi-minh-city/reunification-palace.htm

There you go folks, a nice side step into history while visiting exciting Ho Chi Minh City. This is one of the place worth seeing if visiting the city, a must to see and understand better the conflict of wars in this country. Hope you enjoy the historical post on the Reunification Palace.

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

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