Introduction to Ho Chi Minh City’s Past
· Learn about the history of the nation at the Vietnam History Museum
· Visit the former offices of the President of South Vietnam in the Reunification Palace
· Walk among the legacy of conflict in the War Remnants Museum
· Go with your own guide through the historic quarter of Ho Chi Minh City
Join our private guide on a journey looking at the Ho Chi Minh City's role in Vietnam's story. With a strong focus on the period of conflict from the exit of the French to the fall of South Vietnam in 1975, this tour will take you among its legacy through some of Ho Chi Minh’s most historic sights.
Tales from the Past
No events in Vietnamese history have occurred in a vacuum. Going around the Vietnam History Museum, you will see the path of Vietnamese history laid out before you. With exhibits dating back to the Bronze Age, your guide will be able to describe and explain how Vietnam developed over millennia to enter the second half of the 20th century divided and at war. After going around the museum, your guide will take you to see some of the best buildings which the French left behind them in 1954. As you go around Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office, your guide will be able to tell you about how Vietnam was treated as part of the French Empire. There will also be a chance to see, if not go in (as it is a government building), Ho Chi Minh City Hall.
Palace of an Extinct Republic
Stepping into the Reunification Palace, it is easy to be struck by the memories of the place. Though only dating back to the 1960s, when it was built to replace the Norodom Palace after it was bombed by mutinous pilots, the iconic white building was designed to be the Presidential Palace of South Vietnam and still has tunnels leading to the Gia Long Palace. You will also enjoy going around the gardens of what was once called the Independence Palace with your guide. There they will tell you the story of what happened there in 1975, when Communist forces burst through the gates to bring the Vietnam War to a close.
A Curious Collection
Some can find it odd going through what was once called the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes. Now called the War Remnants Museum, it gives the official Vietnamese view of the country’s conflicts during the 20th century; which can be very different to the American stance. Possessing a large amount of military hardware, it is also very good at showing how civilians are affected by war with exhibits ranging from a French guillotine to “tiger cages” for Vietcong prisoners-of-war.