A display of wealth and power is a common tourist site in every country.   In the Philippines, we have the Malacanang Palace in Manila as well as the Sto. Nino Shrine in Tacloban City, Leyte.  The Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City is no different from them.  The said landmark known to be the former presidential house, is situated at the city center with the end goal of inviting everyone to witness the combined culture, history and aesthetics of Vietnam. 

This year was my second visit to the said Palace.  My first visit was in the year 2009 and honestly, nothing has changed except for the entrance fees and the security scanner at the entrance gates.  In the year 2009, admission fee costs 10,000 VND and for this year (2011), it already costs 30,000 VND.  I so thought the installed security equipment may have made it more expensive.

For history lovers and photo hobbyists, the structure is highly recommended.  Although there is nothing special in this place, this is nevertheless a way of appreciating Vietnam's history and governance.  I think I have mentioned in my earlier posts that I don't know who Ho Chi Minh was.  Through this visit, I was taught of how he has transformed the city into a promising one and why he was loved by his people.  Facts about the establishment of the said palace can be researched and so I leave it all to you to do the research at this time. 

There are tour guides available within the premises of the Museum willing to share with you the history of Vietnam in relation to the rooms, furnitures and fixtures displayed in the palace.  However, we did not avail of one and took the responsibility of learning and researching it on our own.  My game plan is just to take photos of almost everything displayed - from the carpets, ceilings and the corridors and do the research if I find something that interests me.

There are various rooms in the said palace, including but limited to the library, (where only a few people can  stay to read due to its space), movie theater, governors office, cabinet members office and innumerable function rooms of varied themes and banquet halls.

I have been here in the year 2009, and what I can remember is the old elevator which makes you feel nervous.  But upon entering each floor, it seems like you've been transported into another world with the display of elegance combining both the old and contemporary arts of Viet Nam.  

The Palace is not only for governmental functions as it may also be considered as an arts museum in my opinion.

If you think this landmark is different from all other museums to be visited in the city, you'll be disappointed.  Taking pride on their triumph during the Vietnam war, tanks are also displayed within the palace's premises, making this Palace also within the concept of a "war-themed" tourism.

The Reunification Palace is always included in all itineraries of every tourists, travellers and locals alike.  Cliche sounding, you can say you were not able to fully discover Viet Nam if you have not been to the Palace.

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