The War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City
- on Dec 25, 2019       By: BN
One place that welcomes a significant number of visitors who particularly appreciate history is the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City. This museum, which is very different from the others, is a must-see to understand the history of Vietnam and also to remember that war is nothing glorious.
Covering an area of 7,300 m2, the museum exhibits evidence of war in the courtyard and indoors in its three-story building. Founded after the reunification of the country and open to the public from 4/9/1975, it pays tribute to the Vietnamese combatants and inhabitants during the war and highlights war crimes with the aim to inspire peace for the world.
Originally called the Gallery of American Atrocities, it was renamed the War Crimes Gallery in 1990 before being given its current name, the War Remnants Museum, in 1995.
An emotional stop
It is clear that there is very rarely a museum in the world which expresses with so much force the brutality and the consequences of war. Even if we have known the horror of the battles in Vietnam, what you will see here with your own eyes is truly unimaginable.
At the entrance, what strikes you is the collection of American armoured vehicles, artillery, bombs and infantry weapons, not to mention the French guillotine which was used against Viet Minh fighters.
An M41 Walker Bulldog tank
One of the famous tiger cages used at Con Dao, "hell on earth"
Next is a tiger cage reconstructed to be faithful to the famous ones used in the prison on Con Dao island or Con Son, reputed to be "hell on earth". With a surface area of five square metres, this place is without doubt one of the most horrible in the world.
We meet visitors of all nationalities, who meditate, sometimes with red eyes in front of objects, photos, moving reports. The structure has accumulated more than 20,000 documents consisting of objects and photos, 1,500 of which are displayed in 8 permanent exhibits.
The famous snapshot of the 1968 massacre that cost the lives of 504 villagers from Son My, Quang Ngai province
The photos show everything, such as the massacre of Son My in 1968, the babies born with serious birth-defects directly due to the famous Agent Orange chemical used by the Americans and the torture of Viet Cong prisoners as well It’s a poignant visit and one that is not suitable for children due to the graphic imagery and events portrayed.
The museum immerses you in contemporary Vietnamese history not only during the anti-American war, but also other successive conflicts aimed at sabotaging the Vietnamese state after 1975, the Chinese incursion in 1979, the thorny questions linked to the Truong Sa archipelago… All of them will bring a wider perspective for visitors to discover.
On the ground floor is the multifunctional hall and the rest entitled "Support of the world in Vietnam during the resistance".
In the first floor, the consequences of Agent Orange and the atrocities of the war are highlighted. Visitors cannot be indifferent to the extremely torturous scenes on display.
In the second floor, the themes focuses on historical realities, stories from the memories of 134 reporters from 11 countries who died during the Indochina War, the "White Pigeon" room for raising awareness among children and the "Vietnam, war and peace" space.
A special attraction in Saigon
The museum has been classified several times by TripAdvisor on its list of the best museums to visit. It ranks 5th in the list of 25 best museums in Asia in 2013 and is the only Asian museum honoured among the 10 best museums in the world in 2018.
28 Vo Van Tan Street, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening: all week including holidays
+ Morning: 7.30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
+ Afternoon: 1.30 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Ticket: 40,000 VND per person
How to get to the War Remnants Museum?
If you are thinking of taking a public way to get there instead of a motorbike or a taxi, some buses are available, namely buses 05, 06, 14 and 120.
Departure from Mien Dong bus station: bus 14
Departure from Ben Thanh market: bus 28
Departure from Cholon bus station: bus 06