War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City is a popular tourist destination for both domestic visitors and foreigners. The Museum is on the top of 25 beautiful museums in the world by a famous travel magazine. Most of people believe that it is a place you cannot miss if you have a trip to Ho Chi Minh city. Come here tourist can feel deeply about Vietnam War and its consequences through thousands of documents, artifacts and movies, detailed descriptions
History of War Remnant Museum
War Remnants Museum location set in 28 Vo Van Tan St, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City. In the Nguyen Dynasty, it is Khai Tuong Pagoda, which is built to mark the birth place of Ming Mang King. In period of French Colonial, Indochina war destroyed the pagoda and they constructed villa to stay and relax. Then, French Government used this villa for Saigon Medical University headquarters. After 1975, the museum is under control of Vietnamese government with name Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes. In 1990, its name changed to the “Museum of American War Crimes”. Following the normalization of diplomatic relations with the United States and end of the US embargo, it became War Remnant Museum.
Highlight exhibit in Museum
The War Remnants Museum preserve more than 2000 documents, artifacts and pictures of Vietnam War. There are 1,500 documents, artifacts and pictures with 8 regular special exhibitions and many mobile exhibitions to serve the public topics. For examples, American soldiers slaughtering, torturing, imprisoning, spraying toxic chemicals, bombing the North. Artifacts such as airplanes, cannons, tanks, guillotines and two tiger cages here follow the same size as the Con Dao prison. There are galleries on: Southwest border war, Northern border protection war, Truong Sa archipelago, conspiracy of hostile forces.
Foreigners are very exciting with War Remnants. If they go to Ho Chi Minh, they never ignore it. Most of them (especially American) go to gain the most accurate view of the scars of the decades of war Vietnam has endured.
Outside the grey building, there shows 114 artifacts including military vehicles and weapons used in the Vietnam War. Visitors have strong impression about those artifacts. They may not have chance to see aircrafts (bombing, fighter, and Chinook CH47 helicopter), tanks, fighter plane, single-seater attack aircraft, and conventional bomb. However, the most talked- about exhibits at museum is guillotine on the left of the hall. The French brought this machine to Vietnam during French Colonial period to repress revolution war. Then, the Old Saigon used this machine to execute patriots after the Geneva Agreement. After the liberation, they placed this murder machine here to prove the colonial war crimes. The museum also has tiger cages, which on the left side of the main hall. South Vietnamese Government used this cage to keep political prisoners. The cages are very tiny but possibely keep up to 14 people at a time.
Inside War Remnant Museum, the main exhibits are:
A room having photos, panels of information and facts about the America-Vietnam War, which many American do not know.
The photos collection of War Crime in Vietnam taken by 134 international journalists who were killed during the Vietnam War.
Vestiges of War Crimes:
Another room with propaganda showing the mistreatment of civilians during the war.
Vietnam- War and Peace photos collection:
is taken by Japanese Photographer Ishikawa Bunyo. This contains more than 250 pictures that show the effects of war on soldiers and civilians. Most of people spend time to visit this exhibit.
Agent Orange in the war
It is the most highlight of War Remnants Museum. American used chemical weapons to prevent the Liberation Army of South Vietnam from marching on forward. The Chemicals bombs wiped out the natural resources and the people as well. Moreover, strong pesticide and chemical spray make many children become disabled, homeless, etc. Many pictures show disabled children. They become disabled because their parents were contaminated with Agent Orange during the war.
International Support for the Vietnamese People:
posters and letters from government over the world opposed American War in Vietnam.
War Remnants Museum ticket price
Adult: VND 40,000 per ticket
- Under 6 years old: free
- From 6 to 12 years old: 50% adult price
Vietnamese disables: free
From 7:30 am to 18:00 pm in all days including National holidays.
Get into War Remnants Museum
The War Remnants opens daily (including holidays) from 7:30 to 12:00 in the morning and 1:30pm to 6:00pm. But the best time to visit Museum is in the morning to avoid tourist traps after Cu Chi tour in the morning. The War Remnants Museum Price is only 40,000 VND (about 2usd) for entrance. It is located in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City, so it is very easy to visit museum by taxi, motorbike even walking.
To have deeply learn and understanding about museum, you should take a Ho Chi Minh city tour with a professional guide to explain to you the history, meaning of documents as well as artifacts.
Nowadays, to attract more number of tourists, they offer some activities with different topics such as culture and cuisine. You can enjoy wartime dishes such as: tapioca, rice gravy, banh tet, banh vung, etc.
It draws about 500,000 visitors annually; account for 70% tourist to the museum is foreigners according to Christina Schwenkel. Visitors said that even they know about Vietnam War but they cannot image heavy devastation and horrible consequences. They usually silently stand in front of a photo with confusing feeling. That proves the terrible war.
Visiting the War Remnants Museum with Children
With this display, many travellers are shock with the truth. Many photographs show human remains, corpses, wounded and maimed villagers, and napalm victims. Therefore, children are advised to not visit war remnants due to disturbing experience for most people.
Apart from War Remnants, you can stop at Cu Chi Tunnels, which is related to the Vietnam War to see the doughtiness of Viet Cong. This is very useful to link with War Museum. You should visit Cu Chi in the morning then take time visit War Remnants in the afternoon along with Independence Palace. After that, it is the best time for you to see some pagodas and market in Ho Chi Minh City to see revival of Saigon people after effect of war.