Independence Palace | Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Independence Palace (Dinh Độc Lập), also known as Reunification Palace (Vietnamese: Dinh Thống Nhất), built on the site of the former Norodom Palace, is a landmark in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was designed by architect Ngô Viết Thụ and was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was the site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates. Above text taken from Wikipedia

This isn't your typical palace. Some rooms are fancy, some are stark, some look like they are straight out of the 1960's, and the bunker is downright sparse. It's a hodgepodge of styles all mixed into one ominous building. It's much less opulent than the Thai Grand Palace. From the outside it appears less palatial and more generic. IndependencePalace_1 IndependencePalace_2 IndependencePalace_3 IndependencePalace_4 IndependencePalace_5 IndependencePalace_6 IndependencePalace_7 IndependencePalace_8And now to the cavernous bunker...

IndependencePalace_9 IndependencePalace_10 IndependencePalace_11 IndependencePalace_12 IndependencePalace_13 IndependencePalace_14 IndependencePalace_15 IndependencePalace_16And I guess a palace isn't a palace without a shooting gallery?

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

HoChiMinh_1So Cambodia was equally amazing and emotionally exhausting. It was time to move on to Vietnam. We took another bus adventure from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City. It was another one of those trips that took way longer than what they estimate for you. The border crossing is easy (as long as you have your visa) and you make a stop for lunch along the way. We stayed in the backpacker area—Pham Ngu Lao, located in District 1 where you'll find plenty of lodging and restaurants.

The area is dripping with color and life.

And the food... well, it's delicious. Pho real.HoChiMinh_2 HoChiMinh_3 HoChiMinh_4 HoChiMinh_5 HoChiMinh_6 HoChiMinh_7 HoChiMinh_8 HoChiMinh_9 HoChiMinh_10 HoChiMinh_11