Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi

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Time Required : 1 - 2 hours

Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi Overview

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.

The Ho Chi Minh Museum is hands down the one museum in Vietnam everyone must go to, conveniently located in the Ho Chi Minh complex. A majority of the funding, design and curation came from Soviet support. The same Soviet architects also designed the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum next door. The museum contains many of Ho Chi Minh's personal effects, including clothing, his sandals and glasses, basically his entire life story, from his childhood to his political awakening, his efforts to end French colonial rule and most importantly, his leading of North Vietnam during the civil war, up to his death in 1969. His story is curated mainly through photographs which are conveniently captioned in both Vietnamese, English and French for tourists.
 

Bronze Statue at Ho Chi Minh Museum Hanoi
The Ho Chi Minh Museum is Dedicated to the Life of Ho Chi Minh (Source)

The museum covers Ho Chi Minh's life in 8 featured exhibitions. The first one, establishes his life as a child, his upbringing, hometown and youth. The second topic talks of the next ten years where he got on a French freighter as a stoker, and travelled the world. Here is where his search to end colonialism began. The next three topics, cover 1920 to 1945, and show how the man's founding principles were established through socialist policies and how he turned those ideals into the founding principles of Vietnamese Independence. From 1945 to 1969, which was the time-frame portrayed in topic 6 and 7, the national hero is shown in the height of his political career until his death. The Ho Chi Minh Museum is dedicated to the life and legacy of the former president of North Vietnam and to Vietnam's struggle for independence. A great place to learn about Vietnam's independence movement and the history of the communist state, the museum has the most massive and comprehensive collection on Ho Chi Minh's life and legacy in the whole of Vietnam. 

Inside the Ho Chi Minh Museum Hanoi
There are Many Document and Artifacts at the Ho Chi Minh Museum to
Learn About Ho Chi Minh (Source)
 
One can find thousands of documents, letters and historic artifacts and learn so much about the man who dedicated himself to freeing his country from French colonial rule. The museum is a collection of artifacts, miniatures and various gifts gathered nationally and internationally. There are guided tours available on request. Vietnam's museums are usually fairly literal in their narrative style. However, this one is more quirky, abstract, ambitious and international in its perspective. And it preserves a museum style that was developed in the final years of the Soviet Union.

Inside the Ho Chi Minh Museum Hanoi
The Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi is Inspired by the Life and Work of Ho Chi Minh (Source)

Another important aspect of the museum is its structure which is unique since it was built as a monument as well as a museum. It is located at the birthplace of the Vietnamese communist state on Ba Dinh Square. A Soviet influence is obvious in the architecture of the building. The mausoleum next door contains the late leader's embalmed body.  

How to Reach Ho Chi Minh Museum

Ho Chi Minh Museum Hanoi Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh Museum is Located in Ba Dinh District of Hanoi in Vietnam (Source)

The Ho Chi Minh Museum is located near Ba Dinh Square in Ba Dinh District f Hanoi. The square can easily be reached by bus or taxi from the center of Hanoi.

Tips on Visiting Ho Chi Minh Museum

  • A local market exists in a small alley opposite the Ho Chi Minh Museum. There are a lot of food options on offer, from the famous Pho (Vietnamese noodles) and Che (Vietnamese pudding) to baguette and other local fares. Not only will you get a lunch deal, compared with what you would pay in the Old Quarter, but you will also have the unique chance to communicate with real locals.
  • Book a tour at the entrance to the complex. Having a guide will help you to understand all exhibits in the museum, as some rooms contain information that is only in Vietnamese. 
  • End your tour by browsing galleries full of art made by some of Vietnam's leading artists. 
  • This museum can fit into a day trip to visit Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, One-pillar Pagoda, Ba Dinh square and the War Memorial all of which are located right next to each other.
Ho Chi Minh Museum Hanoi Vietnam
The Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi, Vietnam (Source)

The Ho Chi Minh Museum is a treasure trove for those interested in history or architecture. There are museums dedicated to Ho Chi Minh in every major city and town in Vietnam but none like this. Vietnam's museums are usually fairly literal in their narrative style. However, this one is more quirky, abstract, ambitious and international in its perspective. And it preserves a museum style that was developed in the final years of the Soviet Union. This might just be the most interesting museum in Vietnam!

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