War Remnants Museum

There is rarely a country like Vietnam which spends most of its history undergoing numerous resisting wars against major enemies from 3 out of 4 continents in the globe. That sublime history needs to be preserved for Vietnamese posterity so they can learn about the bravery and resilience of their ancestors and seniors.

Photo by Gonzo Gooner
War Remnants Museum is the museum that boasts the large-scale structure and diversified collections of historic remnants from the American War. Visiting the site can cultivate your history knowledge about Vietnam and ultimately transform your visit to Ho Chi Minh city into an intellectual trip.

Remarkable 1975 is the year the last squad of American troops left the south of Vietnam and also the founding year of the museum. As mentioned above, the theme of War Remnants Museum is the US Aggressive War in Vietnam in the period from 1961 to 1975. It is not exaggerative to say that the museum does an excellent job in depicting the devastation the war did on Vietnam’s territory. The scars aren’t merely physical, although there is a host of those. The War Remnants Museum is qualified to document the costs of the war.

The museum possesses several buildings displaying military equipment and hundreds of photographs manifesting the brutality of American intruders and the puppet Government such as a guillotine used by Southern Government and My Lai massacre, which was committed by U.S Army soldiers in March, 1968. Locals are rarely found here and you can presume the museum aims squarely at foreign visitors. The gory war in the latter half of the twentieth century in Vietnam has its consequences extended until nowadays in the form of disabled children born by contaminated Vietnamese veterans. This harsh reality is also reflected in the museum’s exhibitions in the presence of jars containing deformed human features caused by war’s effects. Countless unknown stories about war are told here via non-talking pictures.

Many preceding tourists could not hold back their tears while contemplating those meaningful and heart-rending pictures. Vietnam might have vanquished the U.S but  it’s somewhat hard to say it won in the presence of the pain inflicted on Vietnamese citizen and other aspects of the country. The theme of the museum is not portrayed with a victorious tone but paints Vietnam as a victim since it amounts to a comprehensive annals of the appalling legacy of war.

The outdoor exhibitions feature the display of infantry weaponry, artillery pieces, bombs and armoured vehicles. You may think you are visiting an American museum since most items on display are American military hardware and it might lead to the ironic implication: “Look at all those badass technology and military firepower the Americans were equipped with. Yet they still managed to lose.”

Other highlights in the open-air display are the infamous south Vietnamese and French prisons on Con Son and Phu Quoc Islands; the ‘tiger cage’ employed to detain Viet Cong (Vietnamese Communists) prisoners. 

 Some tips before you go

Do some general reading about Vietnam’s history in advance so you are informed to form your own perspective in a museum that tend to be propagandistic. The museum is not so kid-friendly since there are graphic contents such as unexploded ordnance and the effects of Agent Orange, which are substantially disturbing for kids. It may take an hour or two to comprehensively explore the museum

Open Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; the ticketing window closes from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The last admission to the museum is at 4:30 p.m.
When to Visit: The War Remnants Museum gets busy in the late afternoon as tours to the Cu Chi Tunnels finish there.
Entrance Cost: 75 cents
Location: 28 Vo Tan Tan, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Contact: +84 39302112 or warrmhcm@gmail.com

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