Saturday, March 31, 2012

Reunification Palace and War Relics Museum: Saigon

Tim:  After doing very little in the way of sight seeing our first few days in Saigon, we made it for a few sights after selling Amber's motorbike. We rented a motorbike for $5 per day before setting out. The first stop was the Reunification Palace. This palace was the home of the president of South Vietnam in the 1970s. The palace is significant for many reasons. This is where the South Vietnamese President signed permission for American troops to come into Vietnam. It is also the place were the North Vietnamese use tanks to break down the gates, and the South Vietnamese Army surrendered to the North on April 30, 1978 after all American troops had pulled out. The building has been kept just the way it was in 1978 and acts as a museum so it definitely has a 70s feel to it.

The palace was complete with the president's office and a secret stairway to multiple basements built to be capable of large bombs. There were reception rooms, gambling room, dance room, dining rooms, and a helicopter pad.

After the palace we headed over to the War Relics Museum. There were tanks, jets, and various artillery. There was also various lighter assault weapons used by American troops and the South Vietnam Army. Several floors were dedicated to the attrocities carried out by American troops. The pictures of massacres and killings of women and children by US soliders were disturbing. There was also a wing dedicated to the effects of Agent Orange (chemical weapons) used in Vietnam by American troops even though this was against international law. A very sober experience.

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