The Presidential Palace is located near Ba Dinh Square, not far from Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Its main building is a magnificent yellow three-story building. It was originally the governor’s office of French Indochina and was built between 1900-1906. At present, it is mainly used to hold Vietnamese government meetings.
This purely European-style building has wrought-iron gates, classical columns and spectacular staircases, and a stately mirrored hall, where many major historical events took place. However, the main building of the Presidential Palace is closed to the public and you can only take photos from a distance.
There is also the Ho Chi Minh ’s Stilt House, where visitors can pay to visit. In fact, Ho Chi Minh did not live in this luxurious Presidential Palace, but only met foreign guests there. In 1958, he himself lived in a shack near the pond in the back garden. This shack did not even have a toilet. After the unification of Vietnam in 1975, this shack was listed as a site under the name Ho Chi Minh ’s Stilt House and it has been maintained.
Walking along the tree-lined path in the Presidential Palace garden, you can see a two-story all-wood hanging building, which displays various items that were used by Ho Chi Minh during his lifetime.
The lower floor of the hanging building is the reception room, where conference tables and chairs are placed. There is no wall except for the pillars, so you can avoid the summer heat here. There are two rooms on the upper floor: the bedroom on the left with an ordinary wooden bed; the office on the right, with only a wooden table and a few wooden chairs. Upon visiting, you will truly feel that this former residence is as simple and elegant as its owner.
In addition, the quiet and elegant garden of the Presidential Palace is a good place for a walk. An interesting and rare Buddha tree is planted in the garden, and its roots will grow up to form a unique shape like a natural statue.