Travelers looking to experience a bit of royalty can venture to the Presidential Palace in the heart of Hanoi. Built in the early 1900s, this French Colonial-style structure, protected by impressive wrought iron gates, was meant to house local dignitaries. But in 1954, after leading Vietnam to independence, Ho Chi Minh refused to live in the palace’s gilded halls and instead built a rustic stilt house on the royal grounds.
Today, travelers can explore the area surrounding this ornate government structure, which includes well-kept botanical gardens and lush fruit groves. Guides are available for hire, but visitors are not allowed into the palace. Those looking to learn more about the history and life of Ho Chi Minh can visit his silt home, which also sits on palace grounds.
The Presidential Palace is located off of Hung Vuong, just north of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. It is open daily from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. and closed between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The entrance fee to the grounds is about VND 25,000.