The Presidential Palace, which is the official home of Vietnam’s president, is a three-storey structure with 30 rooms located north of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. The building is a memento of the French contribution to architecture in Indochina.
The mustard-yellow palace was built by French architect Auguste Henri Vildieu from 1900 to 1906 to function as the living and operational bases of the governors-general of French Indochina.
The palace is surrounded by gardens, an orchard and the famous Mango Alley, a 300-foot long boulevard that leads from the palace to the stilt house where Ho Chi Minh lived.
History says that Ho Chi Minh declined to stay in the Presidential Palace when he returned to Hanoi after defeating the French in 1954. Instead, he resided in a cottage within the premises of the palace from 1954 to 1958. He eventually built a Vietnamese-style stilt house, but used the palace when important guests came to Hanoi. His stilt house and carp ponds were made into the Presidential Palace Historical Site in 1975.