As one of the most international attractions in Ho Chi Minh City, the Vietnam War Remnants Museum is located at 28 Vo Van Tan Street, Vo Thi Sau Ward in District 3. This museum specializes in research, collection, storage, preservation and display, as well as education and vulgarity. The content of attention here is the documents, images, films and artifacts that show what the invaders have caused to Vietnam, and the will to regain national independence of the people. Picking up the museum to visit, you will get to understand more about Vietnam's history.
I - History of the Vietnam War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City
In the Nguyen Dynasty, the museum at that time was a temple named Khai Tuong, a work ordered by King Gia Long to build. By the time of the French invasion, the temple was gradually demolished to build many colonial buildings of all kinds from hospitals, offices, to villas. After the liberation of the South, this place became the Exhibition House about the war crimes of the US - Nguy and officially opened for visitors from September 4, 1975.
On July 4, 1995, this place was renamed the War Remnants Museum, then recognized as a member of the International Network of Peace Museums (1998). In 2002, the new museum started construction on the old building, the process took up to 8 years and it was officially inaugurated on April 28, 2010. Currently under the management of the Department of Culture and Sports of Ho Chi Minh City, the Museum is not only a place to visit and learn but also to organize major cultural events.
II - Exploring 3 exhibition areas at the Vietnam War Remnants Museum in Saigon
Covering an area of 5,400m2, the Museum includes a modern building (4,522m2) and an outdoor exhibition area (3,026m2), with numerous auxiliary works. The 3-storey gallery block currently preserves 20,000 documents, artifacts and films, presented not by chronology, but mainly by the content and meaning of the items. Through many additions, corrections, and upgrades, the Museum currently has a display system including 9 regular thematic zones scattered across 3 floors:
1 - The 1st floor of the Vietnam War Remnants Museum
Outdoor exhibition area
The first floor - Source: @baotangchungtichchientranh
This place currently has a total of 114 artifacts, including the most advanced weapons and means of war that the US military used in the Vietnam War at that time. You can see with your own eyes all kinds of aircraft, from bombers, fighters, reconnaissance to transport aircrafts, especially the giant Chinook CH47 transport helicopter. There are also various tanks - notably the heavy M48 type, various bombs including seismic bombs, and cannons of all ranges. You should not miss checking out the 175mm cannon, known as “King of the battlefield” with its destructive capacity and range.
“The world supports Vietnam’s resistance” Zone
This area of the War Remnants Museum displays 100 photos and 145 documents, recording the movements and consensus of people against the war and supporting Vietnam’s resistance. You will see posters, banners, flags, leaflets and items of all kinds, along with records of rallies, conferences, and seminars taking place around the world for a common purpose - peace. In addition, there are also memorabilia donated by American veterans, who participated in the Vietnam War, to show respect for the Vietnamese and their regret for participating in this senseless war.
“Imprisonment system during the Vietnam War” Zone
This area of the War Remnants Museum includes 40 photos, 14 tables, maps, and 21 artifacts, introducing the system of over 200 prisons built by the US and the Saigon government to oppress Vietnamese patriots. You will be introduced to some typical ones, known as the “hells on earth” such as Con Dao prison or Phu Quoc prison, and some extremely brutal methods and tools to torture prisoners. For example, there is the guillotine that was widely used by the French colonialists, and was dragged around the streets by Ngo Dinh Diem’s government to terrorize and threaten Vietnamese people.
At the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh city, the most unforgettable image is probably the “Tiger Cage” - a famous torture method in Con Dao Prison. The recreation is quite similar to the original, consisting of 2 compartments only about 5 - 6m2 wide, interwoven with barbed wire. In the past, patriotic revolutionary communists were confined in these cells, sometimes having to lie on the wire that pierced their skin. Not only had to endure the suffocating air and darkness, they also were tortured to death right in these cages.
2 - The 2nd floor of the War Remnants Museum in Vietnam
The cinema room at the Museum is located on the 2nd floor, to the left from the stairs going up. Here you can watch movies and historical footage of the Vietnam War, or documentaries about the history of the country and museum. There are also thematic areas including:
“War Crime of Invasion” Zone
About 125 photographs, 22 documents and 243 artifacts, introducing the evidence of crimes and consequences of the war on Vietnam and the people are displayed at this zone of the Vietnam War Remnants Museum. The war ended with about 3 million people dead (including 2 million civilians), about 2 million more injured, 300,000 people missing and heavy damages to the infrastructure and historical works of the country.
Consequences of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War” Zone
This is the area that makes the most visitors cry, with 100 photos, 10 documents and 20 artifacts on display documenting the consequences of toxic chemicals. They clearly reflect the crimes of the US military, and depict the suffering of the victims and their descendants, showing their efforts to live a better life.
3 - The 3rd floor of War Remnants Museum in Saigon
“Historical truths” Zone
This area displays 66 photos, 20 documents and 153 artifacts that demonstrate the process of French colonialism and the American army’s invasion of Vietnam. After the North gained independence and defeated the French, the US broke the Geneva Agreements and intervened, with more than 6 million troops, over 14,300,000 tons of bombs and bullets, 767 billion dollars spent.
“Requiem - A photo collection of America's war of aggression in Vietnam” Zone
A collection of photos about the Vietnam War made by two British journalists, Tim Page and Horst Faas, with the help of the Vietnam News Agency is displayed at this zone of the War Remnants Museum.
The collection includes 275 photos of 134 reporters from 11 different countries who died while on duty in the Indochina battlefield. Every photo taken on the battlefield is priceless because reporters had to give up their lives for. Each photo taken in “Requiem” is a message full of blood, tears and anguish of war caused by cruel forces in Vietnam.
]Source: @Tran Bach
“Vietnam - War and Peace” Zone
This collection of reportage photos includes 123 photos recorded by Japanese photographer - Ishikawa Bunyo, a reporter for Focus Studio HongKong. He lived and worked in Vietnam from 1965 until the end of the War, and later donated most of his works to the War Remnants Museum in 1998.
“Agent Orange during the Vietnam War” Zone
Including 42 works, this is also a photo collection made by a Japanese photographer, named Goro Nakamura. Since 1961, he has devoted most of his life to capturing images of the Vietnam war, especially about the Agent Orange disaster caused by the US. The crime of chemical warfare has not only taken away the life of many people here, but also left numerous consequences for generations to come.
Children’s Education Room “White Dove”
On August 5, 2017, the War Remnants Museum in Saigon officially opened a new space called “White Dove” room, built in collaboration with 20 Japanese volunteers. This was a part of the project “white dove - symbol of peace”, jointly implemented by Vietnam and Japan to educate children about peace and aesthetics. Coming here, everyone from kids, youngsters, to union members, or tourists can participate in various activities like watching movies, and painting. This room also has the purpose of being a healthy playground for teenagers and children, helping parents feel secure when visiting.
Souvenir shop at Vietnam War Remnants Museum
After visiting, you can view publications about the war in Vietnam and buy souvenirs at the souvenir counter on the first floor of the Museum. There are some outstanding items that you can buy such as:
- Book “Southern troops and people struggle against chemical weapons of the US in the years 1961 - 1972” written by Dr. Nguyen Duc Hoa. Price: 62,000 VND / book ($2.7)
- Book “US chemical war in Vietnam and the struggle for justice” edited by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Duc Hoa. Price: 70,000 VND / book ($3.01)
- Film disc “War Remnants Museum - History page for peace”. Price: 50,000 VND / disc ($2.15)
- Photo book “Memories of war” by author - photographer Chu Chi Thanh. Price: 325,000 VND / book ($14)
- Postcard “Celebrating Dien Bien Phu victory” includes 10 pieces. Price: 50,000 VND / set ($2.15)
- Children’s picture postcard “War and Peace”. Price: 20,000 VND / set ($0.86)
- Picture book “War Remnants Museum” introducing regular exhibitions, tour itinerary, floor plan and location of visiting rooms at the Museum. Price: 20,000 VND / book ($0.86)
- Picture book “Japanese peace movement in support of Vietnam during the war (1954 - 1975) and Vietnam - Japan friendship”. Price: 325,000 VND / book ($14)
- Book “Diplomatic Front of South Vietnam in fighting the US and saving the country”. Price: 350,000 VND / book ($15)
- Other books:
+ “War Remnants Museum - Museum for Peace”
+ “Waging Peace in Vietnam”
+ “The wave of protest against the unjust war of the US in Vietnam (1945 - 1973)”
III - Useful tourist information
1 - Ticket prices & opening hours
- Museum’s opening hours:
+ Monday - Friday: 7:30am - 11:30am
+ Saturday & Sunday: 7:30am - 4:30pm
- War Remnants Museum entrance fee: 40,000 VND/person ($1.72)
- Dresscode: casual clothes
2 - Some rules
- Dress politely and behave properly when visiting the Museum.
- All audio and video recording activities with themes, or organizing other activities must be approved by the Museum.
- Contact the staff for support when you need to register for a tour guide, have questions that need to be answered or have other needs.
- Follow the instructions of the staff and the guideboards during the tour.
- Maintain order, hygiene and condition of artifacts.
- No smoking.
- Be responsible for compensation if causing any damage.
4 - New technology to support tourists
Recently, the Vietnam War Remnants Museum has applied many new modern technologies, combining graphics, sound, light, and projection technology. In particular, modern computer devices (such as touch screens) are also installed at the exhibition booths to help visitors look up more information easily. In addition, you can also scan the QR code stamp in the showroom and listen to the audio guide in 6 languages, including Vietnamese, English, French, Russian, Japanese and Chinese.
5 - Some hotels near War Remnants Museum
Central Palace Hotel Saigon - Source: Internet
Central Palace Hotel Saigon
- Address: No.39 - 39A Nguyen Trung Truc Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
- Price: 573,000 - 4,100,000 VND/room/night ($24.7 - 176.7)
Mai House Saigon Hotel
- Address: No.1-3-5 Ngo Thoi Nhiem Street, Ward 6, District 3
- Price: 1,503,000 - 3,000,000 VND/room/night ($64.8 - 130)
- Address: No.192 Pasteur Street, Ward 6, District 3
- Price: 946,000 - 2,341,000 VND/room/night ($40.8 - 101)
5 - Some restaurants near War Remnants Museum in Vietnam
iSushi Le Quy Don
- Address: No.13 Le Quy Don, Ward 6, District 3
- Cuisine: Japanese
- Opening hours: 11am - 10pm
- Address: No.16 Le Quy Don Street, Ward 6, District 3
- Cuisine: Vietnamese
- Opening hours: 7am - 10pm
Am Thuc Que Nha Restaurant
- Address: No.28 Pham Ngoc Thach Street, Ward 6, District 3
- Cuisine: Vietnamese
- Opening hours: 10am - 11pm
Not possessing magnificent ancient architecture or top-notch works of art, the Vietnam War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh city still attracts a large number of visitors every year. This is one of the top tourist sites that you should not miss when traveling in Ho Chi Minh city, currently displaying documents and artifacts about crimes and consequences of the wars caused by France and America.