Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ho Chi Minh City 2 Tour (1/2/2013)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Another wonderful Sofitel Hotel breakfast buffet.
Our 8:00 bus tour took us first to Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica:
Completed in 1883 in Neo-Romanesque style with all the building materials imported from France.
The statue of Notre Dame was made in Rome and installed in the square in 1959:
The interior:
Op Art floor tiles:
Stained glass windows:
Plaques of gratitude to Our Lady Mary:
On the east side of the square is the Saigon Central Post Office:
Completed in 1891, it was designed by the firm of Gustave Eiffel to resemble the train stations of Europe.
The names of men associated with electricity are placed on the exterior:
Post office statuary:
Inside the post office is a map of the telegraph lines of 1892:
Floor tiles:
Ho Chi Minh presides over the hall:
Back out in the square, the roof of the former CIA offices was pointed out. This is the location of the iconic photograph of a helicopter evacuating Americans in 1975:
The motorcoach took us to the Reunification Palace:
This is the former Presidential Palace, completed in 1966 and designed by Vietnamese architect Ngô Viết Thụ.
The Fall of Saigon in 1975 ended here when tanks crashed through these gates:
A Chinese T59 tank like the one that crashed through the main gate:
The Cabinet Ministers Meeting Hall:
The Banquet Hall:
The Map Room:
The Map Room telephones:
(The pink telephones used to be red.)
Looking through the architectural features said to represent jointed bamboo:
The National Reception Room:
View from the balcony:
A gift from a Hong Kong diplomat:
The Credentials Presenting Room:
Lacquered art depicts scenes from the Le Dynasty:
Gifts for the president:
In the basement, the communications rooms:
Basement corridor:
Our last stop this morning was the lacquer factory:
Duck shell inlay:
Curio cabinet:
Duck shell inlay vase:
We walked back to the hotel while others in the group continued to shop.
Next, Ho Chi Minh City 3 Walking Tour.

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