19 Apr

 Hoi truong Thong Nhat (Reunification Conference Hall):

Previously on the ground of the present structure was Norodome Palace built in 1873 as a residence of the French Governor General of Indochina.
After 1954, President Ngo Dinh Diem of the Saigon administration and his family lived and worked in Norodome Palace. In February 1963, a dissident of the Diem regime launched an air bombardment of the palace and heavily damaged it. After that Diem decided to demolish the damaged structure and build a new one which was later replaced by the Independence Palace.
The present Hoi Truong Thong Nhat was the former Independence Palace.
At 11:30 on April 30,1975, tanks of the Liberation Army overran the palace. The then Saigon president, Mr Duong Van Minh, who had just assumed the post of presidency, together with his 45-member cabinet surrendered unconditionally.
After the liberation of Saigon, the Independence Palace was turned into the Headquarters of the Municipal Military Administrative Committee. In December 1975 the palace was the venue of a consultative conference for national reunification. To mark the historical significance of the event the building was renamed Hoi Truong Thong Nhat.

Nha Rong Whart

It is situated in the forked junction of the Saigon River (at an end of Nguyen Tat Thanh Road) . The main three- stories building was constructed in 1862 as an office for a sea transport company. The building was a combination of western and eastern architectures with the roof decorated by carvings of dragons. In 1911 a young man called Nguyen Tat Thanh (president Ho Chi Minh in his boyhood) left Nha Rong on board of a French ship to seek ways to secure national salvation.  At present Nha Rong is a place of memorial to President Ho Chi Minh.

Cu Chi Tunnel

It is a suburban district some 30km northwest of the city. The district lies between the Saigon and Vam Co Dong rivers. Located at the threshold of Saigon and adjacent to the revolutionary base, Cu Chi play and important role in the two wars of resistance against the old and new colonial powers.
Cu Chi was an “underground village” with its labyrinth of interlaced tunnels having a combined length of more than 200km. The main tunnel is 60cm-70cm wide and 80cm-90cm high. The structure has either a delta-shaped or vaulted ceiling. Above the tunnel is a layer of earth about 3m-4m thick, enough to sustain the weight of 50-tonne tanks or heavy artillery as well as the destruction of bombs up to 100kg. Although it is an underground communication network, the runnel is enlarged here and there into rooms large enough to hold large meetings, a medical station or art performances.
Mr Huller of the Associated Press in Saigon, who visited Cu Chi on February 14, 1966, wrote that Viet Cong (South Vietnamese guerrillas) had dug a lot of underground tunnels and shelters throughout the country, but none were as large and intricate as that network. He added that those who had set foot in that tunnel network should greatly admire the talent, determination and endurance of the communist guerrillas. The soil in Cu Chi was as hard as stone, but with only rudiment hand stools such as hoes and shovels, they had dug and removed tens of thousands of tones of earth and stone, and camouflaged the openings so well that nobody could find them.
The Cu Chi tunnels are open to local and foreign visitors. Some have called it a wonder of the 20th century

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral or Grand Cathedral is a magnificent building in the heart of the city. The cathedral was built between October 1877 and April 1880 in a French style at a cost of 2.5 million French francs.
With the approval of the Vatican the cathedral was named Notre Dame during ceremonies held on December 7-8, 1959. Its neo-Romanesque architecture with two-40m square bell towers crown the Paris Commune Square where it is located.

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

In the old days there was a pagoda named Vinh Nghiem in the former Bac Giang province, now Ha Bac province, in the North. The pagoda belonged to the Truc Lam Buddhist Sect whose three founders were King Tran Nhan Tong, Phap Loa and Huyen Ton Quang Da.
In 1964, the Buddhist movement against had many Buddhist followers, descendants of Vinh Nghiem from the North. That is why the constitution of the former Vietnam United Buddhist Church allowed the Buddhists of northern origin to establish a region called Vinh Nghiem.
It is noteworthy for its ancient Asian architecture with a seven-stories tower, which houses various Buddha statues and a bell presented by Japanese Buddhists during the Vietnam war to pray for its early end.

Lai Thieu Fruit Tree Gardens

Starting from Ho Chi Minh City, you pass the Binh Trieu Railway Station and travel for a further 20km until you reach Lai Thieu fruit tree gardens in Thuan An district, Song Be province. Lai Thieu covering an area of 1,230 ha has been famous for hundreds of years for its beautiful fruit tree gardens.
Visiting Lai Thieu you will enjoy fresh air amidst row after row of fruit trees, and sample durian, rambuttan, jackfruit, mango and other delicious tropical fruit. The district of Hung Dinh is at the middle of Lai thieu. A lot of fruit stalls are open for tourists at Cau Ngang. You can take a boat cruise along the Saigon River which is lined with verdant orchards.

SaigonStay – According to Vietnamstay

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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Entertainment, Living in Saigon


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