The Vietnamese Women's Museum, an unusual visit in Hanoi
- on Jul 10, 2020       By: BN
Renowned for being one of the best cultural attractions in the country, the Vietnamese Women's Museum is one of the rare places that fascinates visitors as a museum in Hanoi but also in the rest of Vietnam. The site contains a remarkable collection of tangible and intangible heritage pieces honouring Vietnamese women throughout the ages.
The Vietnamese Women's Museum was honoured in 2017 for the 5th consecutive time in the list of 25 most attractive museums in Asia published by TripAdvisor, ranking 10th. Created on the initiative of the Union of Vietnamese Women and opened to the public in 1995, it is also a friendly place for meeting and sharing between women from all walks of life who have in common the objective of working for equality, development and peace. The Women's Museum welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors of all nationalities every year who do not fail to recommend it for its richness and surprising originality.
Spirit of diversity and innovation
Despite its modest size of some 2,500 square metres in total, its influence continues to be felt among visitors at the national and regional levels. In addition to a stock of 25,000 objects, 971 important pieces are exhibited on three levels, according to the materials selected, in textiles, metal, wood... each tells you a story.
You can admire the multi-faceted Vietnamese women who are all the more interesting in the great cultural and ethnic diversity characterizing our territory. Lively and delightful, the permanent exhibitions focus on three main themes: women in the family, women in history and women's fashion.
The entrance hall of the Women’s Museum welcomes you with the tender statue of a mother with her child on her shoulders. It is a great symbol of Vietnamese women and mothers, an inexhaustible subject that inspires artists of all generations.
The first floor lets you discover the different scenes of family life and in particular, the position of women in matriarchal and patriarchal societies, two models that have stood out for a long time in our history. Through the jewellery and work tools on display, you will be able to imagine an exemplary life for women, from youth to middle age. You will learn a little more about the living conditions and the rituals related to engagement, marriage, childbirth as well as various activities such as trade, culture, textiles or education of children.
Entitled "Women in History", the second floor extends you into a very informative and moving stop with the documented objects that enriched the Union of Women during more than 80 years of evolution. The heroines of wars and the elites of contemporary times are there, in eloquent clichés, to bring out the courage and the unfailing sacrifice of Vietnamese women throughout history.
The top floor of the museum highlights the spectacular diversity of the clothing collections of women representing 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups. Its traditional multi-coloured outfits will delight all, especially the enthusiasts of the ethnic tribes living in the mountains of the North. There is something to seduce you here with the magnificent illustrations of customs and creativity in craftsmanship and beauty care.
Through the permanent exhibitions, the Women's Museum has succeeded in setting up several travelling and temporary exhibitions to address the varied public, having a diverse theme such as the history of the Ao dai, the veneration of the mother goddess, children in times of war…
Through illuminating scenes, the world of women opens up before your eyes in a fascinating and moving way from several aspects, historical, cultural and social. The visit is very pleasant for adults and children thanks to the audio guides and the explanations in English and French that are available. In addition, many visitors testify to their enchantment of impeccable quality in terms of the reception and organization of the Museum. It is an opportunity to admire the fabulous shots that shake everyone like "The Napalm girl" offered to the Museum by photographer Nick Ut or "Hidden smile" made available in 2016 by Réhahn Croquevielle.
You can combine the visit to the Vietnamese Women's Museum with a peaceful stroll along the legendary Hoan Kiem Lake or Sword Lake, which is only 500 metres away. For a change of scenery, then head to the nearby old quarter of thirty-six corporations to lose yourself in its unique atmosphere before ending an unforgettable day in the heart of Hanoi.
Address: 36 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Open: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.