In Ho Chi Minh, former Saigon, is the largest museum on the Vietnam War. The visit is not pleasant, it is very hard to visit the galleries with testimonies, photographs and the history of how it happened and why. Throughout the exhibition and the different galleries you will learn how the war was from another point of view and how everything that happened and the intervention of the United States was for Vietnam.
Although it is a tough experience and not a pleasant visit, I think it is important to visit the museum, learn more about the history of Vietnam and learn about mistakes of the past. It will give you a lot to ponder.
In this post I talk about what you will visit in the museum, how the exhibitions are divided and some details of the history. Don't forget to read later the essential places to see in Ho Chi Minh.
WHAT TO SEE AT THE VIETNAM WAR REMAINS MUSEUM
The Vietnam War Remnants Museum is located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City.
The cost of the ticket is 15,000 VND (more or less 0.50 euros). It is a symbolic cost and donations are accepted.
Open every day from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
It will take you about 1:30 to visit the museum.
It is a very large museum and is divided into different rooms and floors. It has an outer part and an inner part.
(All the photographs in this post are respectful of the people who appear and I will not publish any of the photographs where the atrocities of the war appear).
The exterior of the Vietnam War Remnants Museum
Outside you will find the most curious part of the museum. It is usually the area where it is most enjoyed. There is a great exhibition of lots of artillery pieces, heavy war machinery, tanks, planes, helicopters…
The highlights of the outdoor area are the M41 and M48 Tanks, Bulldozers, M132 A1 Flamethrower Vehicles, CH47 Helicopter, A1 Skyrider Bombers, F5 Fighters, bombs...
Outside there is also a store with aviation helmets, ammunition, replica weapons, posters, all kinds of war-themed objects...
The tiger cells
Outside the Vietnam War Remnants Museum there is a recreation of the conditions to which Vietnamese prisoners of war were subjected.
There are exposed elements of torture, interrogations, and a memorial with the stories and photos of some of those who passed through there.
What to see on the ground floor of the War Remnants Museum
It is the most educational part where you will learn more about the history of Vietnam. The reactions of the press and international media when the conflict approached are exposed. You will see articles, media posters from around the world, photographs...
What to see on the first floor of the museum
This is the hardest and most impressive part of the museum. It is divided into three parts: the use of Agent Orange, the consequences it had on the population (tremendous photographs, I assure you that they make your hair stand on end) and on the other hand you will see the American atrocities in the Vietnam War (also very hard) and finally, the reconstruction of Vietnam.
The entire exhibition is documented with the history that you can read on the information posters, photographs, newspaper clippings, testimonies...
Agent Orange in the Vietnam War
The first silver was the hardest area in the entire museum for me. Here is everything that happened due to Agent Orange.
Agent Orange is a powerful herbicide that the US Army used to destroy jungle areas so they could gain access to fight. Over 10 years, they released more than 44 million liters of Agent Orange and had serious consequences on the population.
Currently, the descendants of people affected by Agent Orange continue to be born with problems and malformations. It is estimated that there are between 2 and 5 million people directly affected, including the Vietnamese population and the US military.
The exposure through very hard photographs explains this whole event, the consequences...
(If you are going to visit the Cu Chi tunnels, it is very likely that you will make a stop to visit a craft factory that donates 100% of the profits to help the descendants of those affected by Agent Orange with problems and malformations).
American atrocities in the Vietnam War
There is also an area on the same floor where the atrocities committed by the American army are displayed through posters with information and text. Most of the photographs were taken by American correspondent journalists and photographers.
There are also display cases with light weapons such as rifles, pistols... The weapon that the Saigon police chief used to kill a Vietcong in the street with a shot to the head stands out.
The reconstruction of Vietnam
Finally, on the first floor, you have a small space where the resurrection of Vietnam is explained. You will find the before and after the War in the different areas of Vietnam. There is also a tour explaining the reconstructions of the years after the War.
What to see on the second floor of the Vietnam War Remnants Museum
On the top floor there is an exhibition of objects donated by American veterans associations; uniforms, photographs of soldiers, medals, testimonies written in the handwriting of many soldiers...
Can you visit as a family?
Yes, despite being a very hard museum, it is an opportunity for the little ones to empathize and learn about Vietnam. In my case I was traveling with a 5 year old boy and a 2 year old girl. And even though they are small and hardly really understand the events, they really liked the outside and the interactive area.
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I hope you enjoy your trip to Vietnam very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.
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A hug and see you soon!