A Complete Guide to Ho Chi Minh City's War Remnants Museum

A Complete Guide to Ho Chi Minh City's War Remnants Museum
Photo by Phieudu360o via Flickr

Vietnamese people are proud of their history. Out of all historic spots, the War Remnants Museum is a must-go place. There are heroic stories and untold truths here that you may never have heard of.

Check out the guide below to see what you need to know before heading to one of the most well-known museums in Vietnam.

History Of The War Remnants Museum

A place for history lovers. Photo by DangerousBiz via Flickr

The current location of the War Remnants Museum used to be the building of the US Information Agency. Established in 1975, not long after the reunification of Vietnam, the museum has initially named a gallery of American-puppet crimes. Despite its name, the museum displays war crimes committed by Americans stationed in Vietnam and the French. The museum's display content ranges from the beginning of the first Indochina war to the end of the second Indochina war.

The museum aimed to praise the patriotism and resilience of the Vietnamese people and army during the two wars. At the same time, condemn the cruelty of war and its terrible consequences on the innocent.

In 1990, Vietnam and the United States normalized relations after the US lifted the embargo. This museum was renamed to Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Aggression, and then again to the War Remnants Museum.

After 35 years of establishment and development, the war remnants museum has welcomed more than 15 million visitors, including Vietnamese and foreigners. The museum attracts a lot of students to learn about Vietnamese history and the price of freedom.

Exhibition And Artifacts

Walking around all the huge military equipment. Photo by Cindy P via TripAdvisor

The museum consists of two main sightseeing areas, outdoor and indoor. You will see military equipment such as helicopters, tanks, and bombers in the courtyard outside the building. Some highlights include the UH-1 "Huey" helicopter, an F-5A fighter, and the M48 Patton tank.

Not only the above artifacts, but the outdoor area also has an area that simulates the prison camps that existed from the French colonial period to the end of the Southern government. The "tiger cage" - the prison of political prisoners - is considered the most brutal and inhumane place in this place.

There are nearly 1,500 artifacts, photos, documents, and videos on permanent display inside the building. They are distributed and displayed according to each main theme or period. On the ground floor, you can visit a collection of anti-war posters and images about the war in Vietnam. Next to it is a collection of experimental weapons used in this war.

More than 1,500 artifacts and photos are displayed in the museum. Photo by Alexandre L via TripAdvisor

Two of the most impressive collections for most visitors are pictures of the My Lai massacre and the consequences of Agent Orange caused by the US. Many visitors shed tears when seeing the mournful images in My Lai and feeling horrified at the deformed fetuses caused by dioxin poison on display at the museum.

During the war, the US military used Agent Orange to erase the forests in Central Vietnam to find out where Vietnamese soldiers were. This poison affects the health of more than 3 million people in Vietnam and lasts to 4 generations.

Disease, disability, and deformity are some of Agent Orange's worst effects. The visuals of this event may be too harsh for many to go through, but it's something you can't miss when visiting the museum.

The exhibition includes works by famous war photographers in Vietnam and internationally, such as Bunyo Ishikawa and Tim Page. You should also not miss the series of photos about the life of American soldiers in Vietnam by Larry Burrows and Robert Capa. The photos have three languages Vietnamese, English, and Japanese captions.

In addition to the permanent exhibitions, the war remnants museum also regularly opens temporary exhibitions. You can access the museum's latest information at their official website or Facebook page.

How To Get Here

It’s easy to find the way to the museum. Photo by NerjuB via TripAdvisor

Address of the War Remnants Museum: 28 Vo Van Tan, Ward 6, District 3, HCMC (+84 28 3930 5587)

The museum is in the city's heart, very close to district 1. You can come here by taxi or motorbike taxi service, and it shouldn't cost you much. Or you can also walk because the museum is near many other attractions.

Ho Chi Minh City is currently implementing a public bicycle rental model at 43 locations with more than 500 bikes at affordable prices. This rental option is also an economical and sustainable solution for you.

Open Hours And Prices

Open hours:

From 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM and from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM

(The ticket counter is daily closed at 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM)

War Remnants Museum is open on all days, including public holidays and Tet. Ticket price: 40,000 VND ($1.75) for adults and 20,000 VND ($0.88) for children aged 6-15. Children under six years old can visit for free.

Tips For Travelers

This is a place worth your time for. Photo by Sandrine Gobeil via TripAdvisor

Ask for the price before going to the museum by taxi or motorbike taxi.

If you are riding a motorbike, car, or bicycle, you must park your vehicle at the museum's side gate on Le Quy Don street.

Be sure to dress politely and be respectful when visiting the museum

Keep the ticket sticker in a visible position on your body or outfit

The museum space is not large, but there are many pictures and artifacts to observe. Make sure you have enough time to go through the entire museum.

If you're coming here as part of a city tour, ask your guide in advance about how long they'll spend there.

Check the museum's official website and Facebook page before coming to avoid any unexpected closures.

Nearby Attractions

- Independence Palace β€” 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1

- Saigon Central Post Office β€” 2 Cong Xa Paris Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1

- Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral β€” 1 Cong Xa Paris Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1

War Remnants Museum is one of the most famous museums in Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam in general. This place is a meaningful, informative, and humane spot that is well worth your time. Please make sure you come here when in HCMC, you won't regret it.