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“Must see, but underwhelmed”

The Independence Palace
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This fascinating government building, significant for its role in the Vietnam conflict, is preserved almost exactly as it was in 1966.
Reviewed April 20, 2013

Although this was interesting and an education, maybe because of the language translation, the talk was bland and everything was rather sterilised.

Thank Dianne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"war rooms"
in 137 reviews
"underground bunker"
in 91 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 413 reviews
"vietnam war"
in 440 reviews
"historical significance"
in 83 reviews
"south vietnamese"
in 115 reviews
"recent history"
in 73 reviews
"guided tour"
in 117 reviews
"piece of history"
in 64 reviews
"interesting place"
in 122 reviews
"vietnamese history"
in 114 reviews
"interesting building"
in 66 reviews
"on display"
in 116 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 102 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 83 reviews
"president"
in 552 reviews
"tanks"
in 615 reviews
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5,685 - 5,689 of 8,723 reviews

Reviewed April 20, 2013 via mobile

At an adult entry price of just 30k dong, there really is no excuse to skip this historical site during your visit to HCMC. We spent 90 minutes there and felt like we had covered most of it, so it won't take up your whole morning or afternoon.

After passing through the ticket check barrier, stick to the right hand road for photo opportunities of replica (?) tanks of the Liberation Army and an American jet plane used by a rogue South Vietnamese pilot to bomb the palace.

Free tours (no tipping required) are given so once inside head to the reception desk and ask when the next English speaking tour begins and join it. The tour covers five floors (including the basement), with the tour group being passed on to a different guide for each floor. The guides provide a basic and relatively quick explanation of what each room is / was, perhaps too basic and you might feel whisked round, but its free so you can't really complain. The rooms are cordoned off so you can peer in, but not enter. The ticket desk sells written guides which I presume provide more information, if you like. Once you've reached the end of the guided part, make sure to visit the movie room for a brief history lesson. We found the interior and exhibits really interesting to see, particularly the old maps on the walls in the basement battle room and old style telephones. Some funnily hideous 70s decor to look at too.

We enjoyed our first ever tour of a former presidential palace and I'd recommend making the visit.

Thank Aldolara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2013

I remember the footage of the two tanks forcing their way into the palace and they are an exhibition at the palace. Certainly worth the visit.

Thank scottide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2013

There are free guided tours every 15 minutes (except over lunch) which we didn't realise till we were leaving. This would have probably added to the experience but the brochure we purchased on entry was quite helpful.

Thank Janice3934
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 19, 2013

Interesting place to visit for history buffs. Take the tour with the free guide or else it will just be walking around aimlessly looking a old 60's and 70's decor and furniture. The group guide we had was pretty good and gave insight, history and purpose of the various rooms. Best part was the basement bunker with all the old telecom rooms and equipment. Regret missing the helipad. Plan time of visit acccordingly as ticket office is closed between 11am to 1pm. Tour is approx 1.5 hours but you can break away from the group whenever you want.

Thank Marmatjj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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