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The remarkable Reunification Palace (Dinh Thong Nhat) is currently open as a museum also offers daily tours through the conference rooms, the Presidential Receiving Room, basement tunnels and war room. Everything has been left pretty much as it had been about the fateful day of 30 April 1975 when Communist tanks crashed through the iron gates and overthrew the South Vietnamese Government.
The pink, colonial-style Municipal Theatre (Nha Hat Thanh Pho) was originally built in 1899 as an opera place and, after a spell as a fortress HQ for the authorities, is once again a venue for music, as well as theatre productions and gymnastics events. It’s “must see” place when you travel to Vietnam.
People’s Committee Building
Formerly the Hotel de Ville, the People’s Committee Building (UBND-Tran Phu) is your sign of the French Colonial age and an outstanding city landmark, although members of the public aren’t admitted. The ornate interior features crystal chandeliers and wall-sized murals.
Museum of Vietnamese History
The Museum of Vietnamese History (Bao Tang Lich Su) records the evolution of Vietnam’s varied civilizations, by the Dong Son bronze age civilisation through to the southern Chinese Funan civilisation, the Chams and the Khmers. The museum is situated in a stunning building that’s a nice instance of French/Chinese hybrid architecture.
War Remnants Museum
The items on display in the impressive War Remnants Museum (Nha Trung Bay Toi Ac Chien Tranh) include American tanks, infantry weapons, and also the original French guillotine attracted to Vietnam in the early 20th century. There are many photos on screen showing the debilitating effects of war.
Ho Chi Minh City Museum
The Ho Chi Minh City Museum (Bao Tang Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh) is placed in a white neoclassical structure once known as the Gia Long Palace. Built in 1866, this grand colonial edifice includes exhibits detailing the history of the city and southern Vietnam with reference to the long struggle for independence.
Fine Arts Museum
The grand, colonial-era Fine Arts Museum (Bao Tang My Thuat) houses various galleries. The first floor features revolving exhibitions of modern Vietnamese art. The second floor contains warfare art, while the third floor includes older art, such as statues of the Buddha, and Thai and Khmer sculpture.
Jade Emperor Pagoda
The small Sino-Vietnamese Jade Emperor Pagoda (Chua Ngoc Huang), aka that the Tortoise Pagoda (Phuoc Hai Tu), was built by the Cantonese Buddhists in 1909 and is one of the city’s most colourful pagodas. There is a weird and fantastic array of wooden figurines, several Buddhistothers Daoist-inspired. Look out for the elaborately robed Jade Emperor himself, and also the triple-headed, eight-armed statue of Phat Mau Chau De.