Reunification Palace was formally known as Independence Palace, before the fall of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War. It was built on the site of the former Norodom Palace – the French colonial headquarters.
This is the only modern palace I’ve ever visited, so it was interesting to see how one decides to flaunt wealth and power in a more recent era (looks a bit like the residence of a classic Bond villain?) Needless to say it lacks the opulence of the older royal residences of Europe, such as Versailles or Buckingham Palace. In fact, some of the rooms appear relatively basic and sparse in terms of luxury furniture and decoration. You might even be disappointed if you were shown to your hotel room only to find it resembled on the palace bedrooms. However, the building as a whole is splendid.
The palace served as the main command centre for the South Vietnamese’s efforts against the Communist North and in the basement you can see all the retro tech.