In addition to Vietnam's stunning landscapes and mouth-watering food, Vietnamese war museums are ideal destinations for travelers who love to discover a different aspect of the country. The museums provide a glimpse into the struggles against colonialism and foreign powers, as well as the fight for independence and reunification. Read on for a guide to some of the top war museums to visit on your Vietnam travel journey.
1. War Remnants Museum - A must-visit Vietnamese war museum in Saigon
- Address: 28 Vo Van Tan, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
- Opening hours: 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
- Entrance fee:
- Adults: 40,000 VND (Approx. $1.75)
- Children (aged 6-15): 20,000 VND (Approx. $0.88)
- Children under six years old can visit for free
Saigon War Remnants Museum is a powerful reminder of the devastating effects of the Second Indochina War. The outdoor exhibition showcases heavy weapons used by the US Army, while the ground floor has exhibits dedicated to Agent Orange victims and global support during the war.
Moving up to the first floor, visitors can explore galleries that detail the effects of Agent Orange and war crimes. On the second floor, exhibits such as "Vietnam War and Peace" and "Historical Truth" display the war's history. This is one of the Vietnamese war museums that offers insight into a tumultuous period in Vietnamese history.
2. Hoa Lo Prison
- Address: 1 Hoa Lo, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
- Entrance fee:
- Adults: 50,000 VND (Approx. $2.04)
- Disabled people and the elderly (aged 60 and above): 25,000 VND (Approx. $1.02)
Hoa Lo Prison, one of the most famous Vietnamese war museums, features two historical periods, one during French colonial rule and the other when American pilots were held captive. It contains gruesome exhibits such as a guillotine, iron shackles, torture devices, and statues of prisoners.
Here under French colonial rule, Vietnamese detainees experienced daily abuse and torture, including electric shocks and upside-down hanging. The prison offers insight into the spirit of Vietnamese revolutionary fighters and how Vietnamese people humanely treated American prisoners during the war.
Apart from Vietnam war museums, there are numerous other famous tourist attractions in the area. You can check out Hanoi Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Opera House, St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater, and more during your Hanoi travel journey.
3. Con Dao Museum, Vietnam
- Address: Nguyen Hue Street, Con Dao Island
- Opening hours: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
- Entrance fee: 20,000 VND (Approx. $0.85)
Con Dao Museum showcases nearly 2,000 artifacts and documents related to the struggle of Vietnamese patriots against colonialism and imperialism.
The museum’s highlight is the central courtyard, featuring a 6-meter-tall statue which represents the determination of Vietnamese soldiers. The museum, along with other Vietnamese war museums, provides a deeper understanding of the history of Vietnam in general and Con Dao in particular.
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4. B-52 Victory Museum - A well-trodden Vietnamese war museum in Hanoi
- Address: 157 Doi Can, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM; 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
- Entrance fee: Free
B-52 Victory Museum, one of the most popular Vietnamese war museums, is the only museum in Vietnam dedicated to displaying the victories against B-52 aircraft. It is a significant Vietnamese war museum that perfectly showcases the patriotism and resilience of Vietnamese people.
Here, the indoor display area showcases the history of the armed forces in Hanoi through various periods. The outdoor display area exhibits weapons, military equipment, and wreckage of B-52 aircraft, which are evidence of the US's disastrous defeat in the bombing of North Vietnam and Hanoi.
5. Vietnam Military History Museum
- Address: 28A Dien Bien Phu, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
- Entrance fee: 40,000 VND (Approx. $1.7)
Vietnam Military History Museum is one of the six national museums in Vietnam. Built in 1956, the museum is renowned for its historical pictures and artifacts that showcase the struggles and achievements of Vietnamese people.
The exhibits are arranged in chronological order, ranging from the Hung Kings’ era to the present day. The museum also has an outdoor display area with large historical artifacts such as planes, tanks, and guns.
6. Dien Bien Phu History Museum
- Address: National Road 279, Muong Thanh Ward, Dien Bien Phu City, Dien Bien Province
- Opening hours: 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
- Entrance fee: 100,000 VND (Approx. $4.23)
Dien Bien Phu History Museum is the largest and most modern building in Dien Bien Province. It has two floors, including a basement and a ground floor. The ground floor is the exhibition space for nearly 1,000 artifacts, documents, pictures, and maps that are arranged chronologically.
Dien Bien Phu History Museum, as one of the most renowned Vietnamese war museum, comprises five key parts: an introduction to the resistance war against French colonialism; the strategy and course of the Dien Bien Phu campaign; the impact of the campaign’s victory on the country and the world; the international support for the campaign; and the recognition of the campaign’s heroes.
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7. Phu Quoc Prison - Among the most famous Vietnamese war museums
- Address: 350 Nguyen Van Cu, An Thoi Ward, Duong Dong Town, Phu Quoc Island
- Opening hours: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
- Entrance fee: Free of charge
Phu Quoc Prison, built in 1946 during French colonialism in Vietnam, now serves as one of the Vietnamese war museums, allowing visitors to learn more about this dark chapter in the county’s history. Here, tortures were conducted on Vietnamese prisoners, resulting in the death of thousands in the war.
Historical relics that still remain on Phu Quoc Island include the prisoners’ graveyard, Kien Van church, the exhibition house of relics, the B2 section, and the martyr monument at Doi Sim. These sites are all significant parts of this Vietnamese war museum.
8. Vietnam Museum of Revolution
- Address: 25 Tong Dan Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Vietnam Revolution Museum stores artifacts and materials related to Vietnam's struggles against the French, Japanese, and American empires.
This Vietnamese war museum’s exhibits are divided into three periods: the struggle for independence; the resistance war against invasion; and the current development of the society.
Through the exhibits, visitors can see evidence of the brutal colonial regime, as well as the resilience of Vietnamese soldiers in prison.
Each of these places offers a distinct experience, from the gorgeous beaches of Nha Trang and Phu Quoc, the historic town of Hoi An to the breathtaking natural beauty of Ha Long Bay. With plenty of attractions to explore and activities to enjoy, these destinations are ideal for anyone seeking to uncover the wonders of Vietnam.
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Vietnamese war museums provide a unique and insightful look into the country's history and the heroic struggles of its people against colonialism and oppression. Whether you are a history buff or are simply interested in learning more about Vietnam's past, these eight Vietnamese war museums are must-visits in 2024. With their informative exhibits and compelling displays, they offer a powerful reminder of the resilience and bravery of Vietnamese people in the face of adversity.