Located in the Hoan Kiem district of Hanoi, the National Museum of Vietnamese History exhibits artefacts ranging from prehistoric times- about 400,000 years ago-upto the founding of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Built in French colonial architecture with beautiful balconies, the museum has a collection of about 200,00 objects ranging from Axe heads to bright lacquer ware.
The Hanoi Police Museum exhibits fascinating items like uniforms, weapons, motorbikes, station dioramas and many photographs and documents taking the visitor through a chronological history of the police force. From their efforts to expel the French in 1946 till today while they fight drugs and cyber crime, it's all on display for the public.
Hoa Lo Museum is all that remains of the Hoa Lo Prison, used to capture Vietnamese and American political prisoners during the colonial period and the Vietnam war respectively. The interrogation room, guillotine and John McCain's suit all are on display, a silent reminder of the gruesome past Vietnam has had to witness.
Run by the Woman's Union Of Vietnam, the Vietnamese Women's Museum is well curated and with beautiful exhibits paying a tribute to women across Vietnam over the years. Women as rice paddy field workers, service workers, mothers, street vendors, business leaders are all presented with detailed information. There are photographs, videos and documents of women's role in the war too.
The Vietnam Fine Arts Museum in Hanoi gives a visual representation of country caught in the throes of war. Located just across the Temple of Literature, the Museum houses a small collection of indigenous artwork of 20th and 21st centuries. The themes of patriotism and martyrdom abound in the artworks, while some of the effigies, lacquers and paintings provide a glimpse of Vietnamese heritage and folktales.
Opened in 1990 on the anniversary of Ho Chi Minh's birth, this Soviet-style museum is a mind-blowing museum depicting Vietnamese and Ho Chi Minh's history in a rather bizzare way. You can find lack and white photos, copies of speeches, letters, a huge statue of Ho Chi Minh himself, 1970-style art installations among many other exhibits.
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The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a great place to explore the socio-cultural diversity of Vietnam. Built in 1995, the museum prides itself on housing and displaying relics of the South-East Asian culture. It exhibits artefacts from the daily lives of the 54 officially recognized ethnic groups, including photographs, audiotapes, antiques and everyday objects such as baskets and knives.
The Museum of Vietnamese Revolution is nothing compared to the National Museum of Vietnamese History, but is still an interesting attraction. The rooms contain photographs, documents, maps, flags and other exhibits of Vietnam's revolutionary history. Some rooms showcase items like carpets and batteries that indicated Vietnam's blossoming into the modern era.
The Vietnam Military History Museum, also known as the Army Museum, houses authentic war relics, collection of weaponry used during the Vietnam War, artefacts, and some detailed accounts of war soldiers. Some huge war evidences and notable attractions are an MiG21 jet fighter, M107 gun, a military tank and many others.
The B52 Victory Museum of Hanoi was established as a memorial for the 1972 campaign 'Hanoi-Dien Bien Phu In The Air' when the Vietnamese Air Defense Force shot down 81 aircrafts and forced US to pull out of Vietnam. There are many weapons, iamges, documents, wreckage and other exhibits praising the Hanoi troops.
The Vietnamese Air Force Museum tells the story of the Vietnam People's Air Force from its formation in 1954 uptil today. It displays the history through documents, biographies, photographs, uniforms, weapons, engines and other exhibits. Outside the museum stand jet fighters, helicopters, tanks and other ground vehicles. It's a must visit for anyone interested in Vietnam's Air Force history or aviation in general.
How many of these museums have you been to? How did the artifacts and artworks make you feel? Let us know in the comments below!