While many museums in Vietnam are ineffective with only a few visitors because of the monotonous organization, poor artifacts, and plain documents, they vote the Vietnam War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City for the best museum in Vietnam by TripAdvisor website. Why is it the best pick? You may get all these things in this article.
Figure 1. Vietnam War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City
War Remnants History Museum (Saigon) Information
In early September 2018, TripAdvisor – the world’s leading travel website based in the US, announced the group of the world’s top 10 best museums of the year. And it includes the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam War Remnants Museum is the only Asian representative in the top 10 categories of Travelers’ Choice Awards for Museums 2018.
The list is read by many international tourists in the world and is studied by TripAdvisor. The research is based on algorithms analyzed from millions of reviews and traveler experience given within a year of the TripAdvisor site.
War Remnants Museum Ticket Price and Opening Hours
They established the War Remnants Museum on September 4, 1975, called the War Crime Gallery, and later officially renamed as the War Remnants Museum today. The ticket price is VND40,000 (USD 1.1) for each adult and free for toddlers/babies.
In 2002, they built the War Remnants Museum according to the typical architecture. There are a solid block building and a large space used for exhibiting artifacts. With the combination of exhibiting artifacts and organizing diverse activities, the War Remnants Museum increasingly attracts many tourists to see the authentic war evidence.
The War Remnants Museum is available for visitors every day of the week (including Holidays and New Year Eve). Opening hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visiting Ho Chi Minh City; visitors can come here to see and learn more about Vietnamese history.
Vietnam War Museum (Saigon) Historical Background
They established this museum on September 4, 1975, as the exhibits of American war crimes. On November 10, 1990, they renamed it as the “Exhibition of War Crimes of Atrocities”. On July 4, 1995, a week before US President Bill Clinton announced the normalization of diplomatic relations with Vietnam; they renamed the museum the War Remnants Museum as it is today.
In the Nguyen Dynasty, the location of the War Remnants Museum was the place where Khai Tuong pagoda was built. By the time the French built the strategy, the French government had demolished the temple to replace it as a villa.
During the time after that, this place became the gynecology hospital, law office, etc. Only after 1975, when the country was liberated from the American imperial hands, this place became a museum. It records many historical events, American war traces, and displays of artifacts related to the war against the invaders.
There are galleries about the Southwest border war, the war to protect the northern border, the Spratlys issue, and the conspiracy of hostile forces. Outside, the museum has booths displaying and introducing products of Vietnamese ethnic culture and Vietnam water puppet rooms.
Explore the War Remnants Museum
The museum comprises three floors. What tourists like about this place is each floor comes with a different theme and artifacts. Let’s walk through the museum to see the war evidence in actual life.
Things Displaying Inside
They tell viewers many stories about the terrible truths of the war, about the grief and loss, and the powerful spirit of the Vietnamese people. In Vietnam, besides the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, there are also many historical museums lying through the nations such as Vietnam People’s Air Force Museum and Vietnam Military History Museum.
Figure 2. Photographs of Vietnam war
Each museum has valuable resources of history and unique highlights to attract visitors. Specifically, with the War Remnants Museum, you can find many artifacts about criminal records and the consequences of wars. When coming to the War Remnants Museum, domestic and foreign tourists, especially the young generation, are educated about the fighting spirit to defend the independence and freedom of the Vietnamese people.
Right from the entrance to the museum is the display area of weapons and military means of the US, including jets, reconnaissance aircraft, landing gear aircraft, tanks, artillery shells, and mines. The space inside the museum makes visitors overwhelmed when they learn and admire over 15,000 artifacts, images, and thousands of meters of documentary films about the two periods of resistance against France and the US.
On the first floor are the ticket office, gallery exhibitions, and the display room to support the Vietnam resistance. One of the prominent stops on the first floor is tiger cages.
Figure 3. Tiger Cages
Here, the War Remnants Museum comprises two parts, an outdoor and indoor display area. Right from the entrance is the display area of weapons and military means of the US. They include jets, reconnaissance aircraft, landing gear aircraft, tanks, artillery, bombs, and mine.
The Indoor display area comes with over 15,000 artifacts, graphic photos, and thousands of hardware documentary films about the two periods of resistance against the French and the US armies. Documentary images during the war, such as the massacres of civilians, horrors of war, toxic chemicals sprayed in the South Vietnamese areas, carpet bombing to destroy the North are impressive that touched the audience’s emotions.
There is a special gallery called Recalling Room. It is a gallery that attracts a lot of visitors, especially international visitors. Two authors made this Recalling Room, one is British, and the other is German, which shows the aim of commemorating their friends.
Two pictures make viewers understand the will and righteous power in the Vietnamese resistance war against the U.S. When the Americans waged the war in Vietnam, they used very modern military means such as airplanes.
The Vietnamese army in the North, when supporting the battlefield of the South, had to walk, and the weapons were very rudimentary. The used photographs show that the Vietnamese fighter army, despite its rudimentary equipment, won.
Second and Third Floor
The museum has a children’s painting gallery on the second floor called White Dove Room. It’s a place to display pictures drawn by children with many themes such as love of the motherland, the country, grandparents, and parents.
Figure 4. Gallery and Exhibition
All pictures expressing the simple propaganda of children. In a peaceful country, you can go to school, do your favorite jobs. The vivid and innocent children’s paintings, along with the sad pictures of the war, make visitors feel more about the pain and loss of the war and the desire for peace of the Vietnamese during old times.
70% of the visitors are foreigners. They come here to learn about the wars in Vietnam. Specifically, they want to learn more about the losses and sacrifices the Vietnamese people can not recover. The overall feeling of visitors is empathy and emotion. Dozens of notebooks recording visitors’ feelings are also precious and meaningful artifacts at the Museum.
Guide to the War Remnants Museum
If you want to visit the War Remnants Museum during Vietnam tours, you can choose from a variety of vehicles such as buses, motorbikes, taxis, cars, or high-quality passenger cars.
– Buses: if going from Mien Dong bus station, choose Route 14. If you are from Ben Thanh Market, choose route 28 and from Cho Lon bus station. Then choose route 06 to go to the place.
– Motorbikes and cars: From Ben Thanh market (District 1, Ho Chi Minh City), go to Le Lai street and turn right to Truong Dinh street. Continue straight ahead to Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street, walk a little more. Then turn left onto Le Quy Don Street. From Le Quy Don Street, one section left, you will reach the War Remnants Museum on 28 Vo Van Tan Street, District 3.
– Taxis: in Ho Chi Minh City, there are many taxi companies for tourists to choose from, such as Mai Linh, Vinasun, Hoang Long, Savico, and Vina Taxi. The fare is from VND13,000 to VND16,000 per kilometer. By making a simple book, they will pick you up at the hotels
Attractive Charity Programs
The museum regularly organizes youth exchanges with veterans, former political prisoners, and war victims to share and motivate each other in life. The exchange sessions with tears have brought many valuable lessons for teenagers in learning and practicing.
Figure 5. There are many events about children.
August 10 is the Day for the victims of Agent Orange (Dioxin) in Vietnam. The museum has invited from 100 to 150 student volunteers, soldiers, and policemen to help and communicate with the war victims. It has helped young people and tourists to learn how to sympathize, share, and help Agent Orange victims to overcome difficulties.
The goal of the charity programs is to educate students in history, literature, and foreign languages through experimental guided tour activities at the Museum. Participants in the program are elementary and junior high school students.
Every year, the museum organizes from 40 to 50 exchanges between international visitors and Agent Orange witnesses. Besides the talks and sharing, the programs also offer music, painting, even using massage methods to ease the pain caused by war wounds.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City display?
It displays some artifacts and images from the Vietnam War with topics of American soldiers slaughter, torture, imprisonment of people, spraying toxic chemicals, and bombing to destroy the North of Vietnam.
The artifacts such as airplanes, cannons, tanks, and guillotines in battlefields such as Cu Chi. There are also two tiger cages built to the exact size of Con Dao prison. There are galleries about the Southwest border war, the war to protect the northern border, the Spratlys issue, and the conspiracy of hostile forces.
Outside, the museum has booths displaying and introducing products of Vietnamese ethnic culture and Vietnam water puppet rooms.
Where is the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City?
It is at 28 Vo Van Tan Street, Ward 6, Ho Chi Minh.
How can I search for the English subtitles in the museum?
All the descriptions in the museum’s artifacts come with pieces of English subtitles below. You can find them easily.
For many years, the War Remnants Museum has been one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam. On the Vietnam map, it is one of ten typical attractions for the tourists in Ho Chi Minh City.
It is also the only museum in Vietnam to be included in the system of over 60 museums of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization. It is the place calling for world peace in Vietnam that you should take a photo and save to your memory.