Ho Chi Minh is a vast city but there are not many tourist attractions, still after nearly two months I have a few to tick .
With nearly a full day free from work I donned tourist shorts and t-shirt and headed for the Independence Palace.
A vast 1960s structure still preserved as it was the day the tanks rolled into its grounds in April 1975.
From the palace today
Not quite as opulent as the Mezhyhirya Palace in Ukraine , there is still a gaping chasm between it and the average citizen of Vietnam.
view in 1975
There has been a palace here since the 1870s the present structure being built almost 100 years later in the 1960s.
The guide stressed the original carpets and curtains!
Now it is used for ‘official occasions’ and another reminder of the recent turbulent history of Vietnam.
The 12 acres in the centre of the city provide a calm escape from the noise and frenetic pace surrounding. There’s even a tennis club sat among the trees.
Under the building, bunkers and war office remain. Narrow passages and thick walls.
In the bunkers
Eerily quiet with most tourists remaining above ground, radio and telex equipment left in situ, like an abandoned film set waiting for cameras to roll.
Underground shooting range