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City Pass Guide

YOUR INSIDER'S GUIDE TO LOCAL ATTRACTIONS

IN HO CHI MINH CITY 🇻🇳 SINCE 2008

SAIGON INSPIRATION ATTRACTIONS MUSEUM NATIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM

 

Established in the 1920s as the Musée Louis Finot, the Saigon National History Museum is in a building that typifies Indochinese architecture. One of many museums in Ho Chi Minh City, this site offers a range of artifacts from Vietnam’s long history, and is a great attraction on your sightseeing itinerary. If you are interested in the past of a country steeped in culture, we recommend a visit.

 

Occupying an area of more than 2,000 square meters, the museum traces the history of the Vietnamese people. Displays are in two parts, the first part being an exhibition of Vietnamese history from its first settlement until 1930, when the Vietnamese Communist Party was established. The second part houses displays of cultural and ethnological significance, including aspects of the ancient Mekong Delta, Cham art and the cultural history of Vietnam’s many ethnic minority groups. Display text is written in Vietnamese, English and French.

 

Check out displays of stone tools, Roman coins, cannons and items from Vietnam’s ethnic minorities. The National History Museum is housed at the end of Le Duan, close to the tourist strip. The museum as it stands today opened its doors in 1979. When the building was built in 1929 it mainly exhibited ancient Asian art collections until after 1956, when it was renamed the Saigon National Museum.

 

Expanded in 1975, the museum became the haven for Vietnamese history that we see today. Note that photos are allowed but you must purchase a VND 30,000 camera ticket in conjunction with your VND 15,000 admission ticket. The museum is open daily.

 

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SAIGON INSPIRATION ATTRACTIONS MUSEUM HISTORY OF THE REUNIFICATION PALACE IN SAIGON

 

The Reunification Palace

35 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 1
Open daily from 7:30 to 11:30 and 13:00 to 16:00

 

Around the corridors of the Reunification Palace rush the last employees and soldiers loyal to the regime of South Vietnam, in an atmosphere of desperation while explosions and cannon fire outside come more threatening by the minute. Visiting the basement of the palace, which is now open to public, one can easily imagine the electric atmosphere and fear that impregnated this place forty years ago.

 

Now the building is a haven of peace. Though located in the heart of Saigon, it is surrounded by a park replete with meandering paths perfect for contemplation. It is surprising that this building has witnessed some of the darkest periods of the country, from the period of French colonization to Japanese occupation before crossing into two successive wars of independence against the French and Americans. From these eddies of history, it has not remain unscathed.

 

Built between 1868 and 1873, construction took a quarter of the city’s public works budget. Named after the ruling King of Cambodia, the Norodom Palace was intended to demonstrate the colonial empire’s power. Saigon, still a peaceful village with wide avenues, looked to a bright future.

 

The building was used as the office for the Governor of Cochinchina, otherwise known as the General Governor of French Indochina. At that time, no one suspected that the palace would later pass between successive hands of several owners, whose aspirations would be radically opposed.

 

First tremors of history knocked on its door on March 9, 1945 during the invasion of Vietnam by Japanese troops where it became the headquarters for the Japanese Imperial troops until the end of World War 2.

 

France took back possession of the property in September 1945, but handed it over to the State of Vietnam in 1954, following defeat at Dien Bien Phu and the signing of the Geneva Accords. France handed over the palace to Ngo Dinh Diem, the prime minister of the State of Vietnam who the following year overthrew Bao Dai, the last emperor of Viet Nam, and became president of the Republic of South Vietnam.

 

On 27 February 1962, shortly after 7 am, two A-1 Skyraider aircraft piloted by two lieutenants of South Vietnamese Air Army bombed the Presidential Palace in an attempt to assassinate President Diem. The attack was a failure but the building was heavily damaged. President Ngo Dinh Diem then gave the order to demolish it and rebuild a new one. This project was undertaken by winner of the 1995 Prix de Rome, architect Ngo Viet Thu.

 

 

Ngo Dinh Diem never saw the finished building. He was assassinated along with his younger brother Ngo Dinh Nhu in a coup d’etat in 1963. Construction continued after the regime change and building was finished in 1966 and remained presidential residence until April 30 1975, the date that marks the fall of Saigon.

 

On April 30, 1975, an armored T- 54 North Vietnamese tank smashed through the palace gates, the footage taken by legendary Tasmanian combat cameraman Neil Davis. A soldier jumped from the tank and ran to raise the Vietcong flag on the balcony of the fourth floor, symbolically ending the decade long American War. In November 1975, the war officially ended and to mark the event, the presidential palace was renamed Reunification Palace.

 

The Reunification Palace is now a public museum where you can see the reception rooms, the office of the former president and the fortified command center in the basement.

 

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SAIGON INSPIRATION ATTRACTIONS MUSEUM ARTINUS 3D ART MUSEUM

Ever fancied being photographed at the edge of Bitexco Tower’s helipad? How about straddling a giant crocodile, touching a tyrannosaurus rex and posing with an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh, all on the same day, without leaving Ho Chi Minh City?

Now you can at Artinus 3D Art MuseumHo Chi Minh City’s first 3D art gallery located in District 7. Built in 2015, the 4,000-square-metre museum houses hundreds of 3D paintings created by Korean artists use distance, shadows, multi-directional painting techniques, refraction and reflections to create optical illusions. More importantly, you’ll be able to get very interesting photographs for your next Facebook profile picture right here.

There are nine themed zones to explore: Ocean; Animal; Masterpiece; Vietnam; Egypt; Fairy; Giant; Strange House and Love.

 

Image source: Men Clothes

Ever fancied being photographed at the edge of Bitexco Tower’s helipad? How about straddling a giant crocodile, touching a tyrannosaurus rex and posing with an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh, all on the same day, without leaving Ho Chi Minh City?

 

Now you can at Artinus 3D Art MuseumHo Chi Minh City’s first 3D art gallery located in District 7. Built in 2015, the 4,000-square-metre museum houses hundreds of 3D paintings created by Korean artists use distance, shadows, multi-directional painting techniques, refraction and reflections to create optical illusions. More importantly, you’ll be able to get very interesting photographs for your next Facebook profile picture right here.

There are nine themed zones to explore: Ocean; Animal; Masterpiece; Vietnam; Egypt; Fairy; Giant; Strange House and Love.

 

Local Insight

The “Photo Point” on the museum’s floors give you the best suggestion on where to take the picture. It also has a sample photograph attached to it, giving you an idea of what your picture will look like.

Entry fees (2020): Monday to Friday: VND200,000 (Standard), VND150,000 (Priority) | Weekends & Public Holidays: VND250,000 (Standard), VND200,000 (Priority)

 

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