Presidential Palace in Hanoi: Legacy of Vietnam History & Culture

Travel Guide to Presidential Palace Historical Site

Rachel Tran
Rachel Tran | Published: February 25, 2021

Coming to visit Hanoi – the thousand year old cultural capital of Vietnam, tourists should not miss the Presidential Palace –  a legacy of Vietnam history and culture. This yellow mustard building is not a place, it is considered one of the most important historical sites of Vietnam.

Hanoi Presidential Palace – a part of Ho Chi Minh Complex, is known as the Palace of the Governor-General of Indochina. It is a beautifully restored French-style building constructed in 1906 that is now used for official receptions.

    Location: No 2, Hung Vuong Street, Ngoc Ha Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi City, Vietnam.
    Opening hours: 8:00 – 11:30 on daily and 14:00 – 16:00 on weekend
    Entrance price: VND 30,000 

I. Overview of Presidential Palace

Overview of Presidential palace

Hanoi Presidential Palace was constructed in 1906 by Auguste Henri Vildieu – a famous French architect. This building was intended to become President Ho Chi Minh’s official residence but he chose a traditional stilt house instead. Inspired by French architecture style, this unique yellow three-story building has 30 rooms surrounded by a lush garden, an orchard, a long boulevard, and a carp pond.

II. History of Presidential Palace

History of presidential palace

At that time, this structure was the most luxurious construction for it took approximately 7 years to complete. When this palace was completed, it was called “Indochina Governor Palace”. Since Independence Day in 1945, this building was named “The Presidential Palace” and this name has been used up until now.

This palace was built to be the living and working place of President Ho Chi Minh. But, the great Vietnamese leader refused and he believed that it would be inappropriate to stay in such a large and luxury building while the others were homeless and starving. Therefore, Uncle Ho decided to live in a small stilt house in the garden. The Presidential Palace had been supposed to be a place for meeting important delegations as well as for Uncle Ho to visit Vietnamese young children.

Nowadays, The Presidential Palace is mainly used for meeting foreign national officials as well as important guests from all over the world coming to Vietnam.

III. Highlights of Presidential Palace

Highlights of Presidential palace
Source: PCOO EDP

The Presidential Palace in Hanoi was constructed under the rule of French colonial, and; today it is used as a reception facility or guest house for foreign dignitaries. Located in the north of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, this palace is a remembrance of the French contribution to Indochina architecture.

This palace features modern architecture with Renaissance and Beaux Art style. The building has no signature Asian architectural features, for the French rulers had a mission to spread the European civilization and believed that the European styles dominated the design of traditional Asian housing.

The building is surrounded by a luxuriant garden, a fish pond, an orchard, a 91-meter boulevard and the famous Mango Alley which leads to the stilt house of President Ho.

The presidential palace is closed to tourists but the cottage of Ho Chi Minh and the surrounding grounds are opened for visitors with a small cost.

IV. Extra Tips

Because political meetings are still organised at Hanoi Presidential Palace, tourists  are not allowed to enter the palace, but they can visit the Ho Chi Minh gardens and stilt home with a small charge. The combination of the peaceful surrounding grounds and botanical green gardens of abundant fruit groves create an ideal place for those looking for a place to escape the bustling atmosphere of the modern city.

Placed in Ba Dinh District, it takes only 15 minutes to get to Presidential Palace from Hanoi 36 Old Quarter. There are several popular tourist spots that tourists should pay a visit to while traveling to the palace such as One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Ho Chi Minh Museum. As tourists stay in this district, they can easily access Presidential Palace on foot as there are many landmarks and instructions on the road.

The Hanoi Presidential Palace was listed among the 13 most stunning palaces in the world by Architecture Digest – the famous US magazine. With its unique style and beauty and historical values, Presidential Palace has become an attractive destination for both domestic and international visitors.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s escape from the busy and hustle of the industrial lives to explore Hanoi Presidential Palace. Pack your case and enjoy meaningful moments with your friends and loved ones! 

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