Reunification Conference Hall, also called Thong Nhat Conference Hall or Presidential Palace, is one of the most attractive historical sites of Ho Chi Minh City, which attracts tourists in Vietnam travel. It was built in 1865 on the grounds of Norodom Palace as a residence for the French Governor General of Cochinchina.
Reunification Conference Hall is located on No.106 Nguyen Du Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. It was built in 1865 on the grounds of Norodom Palace as a residence for the French Governor General of Cochinchina.
After 1954, Ngo Dinh Diem and his family lived in the Norodom Palace. In February 1963, a dissident launched an air bombardment and heavily damaged it. Diem rebuilt the palace, which was later replaced by another one, called the Independence Palace. It was designed by Western-trained architect Ngo Viet Thu. The construction was undertaken by Saigon engineers and was completed in 1966.
The five-story building consists of 100 rooms and chambers decorated with the finest modern Vietnamese arts and crafts. The ground floor room has a boat-shaped table that was often used for conferences. Upstairs, a room called Phu Dau Rong was where Nguyen Van Thieu received foreign delegations. The residential quarters are in the back of the building. On the third floor, there is a card-playing room. This floor also possesses a terrace with a heliport where a helicopter is parked. The fourth floor was used for dancing, and even had a casino. The most interesting part of the building is probably the basement containing a network of tunnels, a telecommunication centre, and a war room.
Reunification Conference Hall seen from above
At 11h30 on 30 April 1975, the palace was overrun by Liberation Army tanks. Duong Van Minh, who was president at that time, together with his 45-member cabinet, surrendered unconditionally. After the liberation of Saigon, the Independence Palace was turned into the Headquarters of the Municipal Military Administrative Committee. In December 1975, the palace welcomed a conference for national reunification. To mark the historical significance of the event, the building was renamed Thong Nhat Conference Hall (Reunification Conference Hall).
Today, Reunification Conference Hall is the famous historical relic of Vietnam in general and of Ho Chi Minh City in particular, which attracts both domestic and foreign visitors in Vietnam travel.