Friday, September 4, 2015

[Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam holiday] Reunification Palace + War Remnants Museum

Sorry for the long hiatus on blogging on my previous trip to Ho chi Minh, Vietnam. I remembered I last stopped at the Cu Chi Tunnels and my experiences there, so now I will continue on the other sights of Saigon!
 

  We visited the Reunification Palace which is a landmark of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. It was a former home and workplace of presidents of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

 
This place was also the site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon in 1975, when the North Vietnamese army conquered Ho Chi Minh. A replica of the North Vietnamese Army Tank that crashed through the gates is situated there as well. 
 



 

 
 
Therefore, before we entered the palace, we took some random photos of the famous tank.
 
 

 
The first and second levels of the palace consist of various meeting rooms, halls, reception rooms, President living quarters, recreation rooms and even a cinema.







 
 
 
 
However, the most fascinating rooms were located at the basement of the building, which had telecommunication centre, war rooms and various tunnels.
 


 
A short walk away from the palace is the Saigon Notre Dame Basilica and was built in 1880.The statue of the Virgin Mary stands right before the cathedral.



 
The architecture looks almost identical to the well known Notre Dame in Paris, but the scale is way smaller as compared to the one in Paris. Nevertheless, the building still looks impressive as the building materials were imported from France.

 
I took a random photo outside the Notre-Dame Cathedral.
 

 
Across the road from the cathedral is ‘Buu Dien’ and now it is a tourist attraction where we can pick up souvenirs.
 
 
We went to the War Remnants Museum as Baby is a history geek.
 
 
 
Various captured U.S. Armor vehicles and artillery planes are on display outside the museum.

 

 

 
There were many disturbing photographs in the museum, and I was horrified seeing the photos of the after-affect photos of U.S. Napalm bomb strikes, and the usage of poisonous gas, which was called 'Agent Orange'. The museum also revealed the brutality of war and the victims tell their own stories.
 
 
The Vietnam War revealed an untold story of the war with a collection of photographs.

 
 
There was also a mock-up jail showcasing the various tortures and 'tiger cages' used to imprison Viet Cong prisoners and dissidents as well. I was pretty surprised that the mock-up POW Prison was done pretty well.

 
Although the War Remnants Museum is a popular attraction in HCMC, but I do not think it is kid-friendly!

 
I end my post with a random photo of me enjoying the Vietnamese coffee. We absolutely loved their rich coffee that had a tremendous aura, and we stopped at various cafes a couple of times a day to enjoy it.  


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