|Presidential Palace from inside of front gate|
The next stop on our first and only full day in Saigon was the old Presidential Palace (now called Reunification Palace). It is where the South Vietnamese Presidents lived and worked during the Vietnam War. It is also the sight of the iconic photos of the North Vietnamese tank crashing through the front gates in April of 1975, thus officially ending the war.
|Famous gate that North Vietnamese tank crashed through|
as the symbolic end of the war (view from inside)
Today the palace serves primarily as a museum - the country is run from the capital, Hanoi. Our guide told us that some public functions are held at the palace - such as weddings.
|Close-up of the front of the palace.|
The place was not as well maintained as one would expect of a public building with so much history. Many of the carpets were threadbare, and there was mold and mildew in evidence on many walls, particularly in the basement rooms.
|A formal conference room.|
|The presidents' office|
|The back yard|
|Murphy and a young couple from NYC who joined our little|
tour listen to information from our guide, Loc.
|Loc smiles up after retrieving Murphy's glasses from|
a ledge below.
|A waiting room|
|A more formal meeting room|
|Presidential emergency bedroom in the basement.|
|Up on the roof! Vietnamese flag in foreground.|
|Another rooftop view - skyscrapers of Saigon|
|An upcoming Palace event.|