A must for architecture and history fans alike, this 1960s building has housed a number of Vietnam’s presidents and top brass, including Ngo Dinh Diem, who survived a bomb dropped on the palace by his own troops in 1962 (they were more successful with his murder a year later) and General Minh, who ceded power to a VC officer here in April 1975. It’s an airy, light-filled modernist building by noted local architect Ngo Viet Thu, who incorporated auspicious Chinese symbols in its design as well as natural motifs like the striking bamboo-style concrete pillars along the facade. Inside, grand dining rooms, a games room, cinema, nightclub and even a helipad combine to give the sense of a James Bond-style residence, but it’s the bunker, with its shooting gallery, that’s most likely to stay with you. A total treat from top to very bottom.
Independence PalaceThis stunner of a building also offers a fascinating walk through Vietnam's history
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