The Museum of Vietnamese History is located right next to the Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Ho Chi Minh City. It was established on August 23, 1979 – but was formerly named “Musée Blanchard de la Brosse” (1929-1956) and then “The National Museum of Vietnam in Saigon” (1956-1975).
The museum was under reconstruction when I visited it, and not all exhibition halls were open, but normally there are two main sections: Part 1 displays the Vietnamese history from the first human vestiges (about 500,000 years ago) until the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (1945). Part 2 displays various themes like “Buddha statues (12th - 19th century)”, “Ethnic minorities culture in Southern Vietnam”, “The Art of Champa (2nd – 17th century)” and more... In the museum yard is a collection of old cannons. There is also a small Water Puppet Theatre with short shows. Interesting place with many very old artefacts - absolute worth a visit...
The museum opened in 1979, and occupies a building constructed by the French in 1927.
It is a really nice museum that starts with early stone tools and ends with the French period. It has everything from Roman coins to cannons, including items from the ethnic minorities. It is organized very well, and signs are also in English. I spent all afternoon there.
Open: Daily 08:00-11:30 & 13:30-17:00.
Admission: 15,000 VND.
They DO allow photos, but you have to buy a 30,000 VND camera ticket in addition to the admission ticket. (Small price, and worth it.)
The Den Hung Temple, located opposite the museum, is dedicated to the ancestors of Hung Vuong, the founding king of Viet Nam.
This excellent museum can be found on the left as you enter through the main entrance into the zoo and botanical gardens. It traces Vietnamese history from prehistoric times till the period of French occupation and carries an impressive range of artefacts, including Funan pieces found at Oc-Eo (Mekong Delta), a small selection of Cham sculptures, Stone sculptures of Cambodia (9th - 12th century), and various artefacts from the Ngô, Dinh, Anterior Lê, Ly Dynasties (939 - 1225 A.D.), Tran and Ho Dynasties (1226 -1407 A.D.), Lê to the Nguyên (1428 - 1788 A.D.), Tay Son Dynasty (1771 - 1802) and Nguyen Dynasty (1802 - 1945).
Open: Daily 08:00-11:30 & 13:30-17:00. Admission: 15,000 VND.
If you are visiting the Botanical garden and Zoo, then pop next door to the History museum (1929) Its a lovely, historical Pagoda style building.
The museum has a lot of items from Vietnamese history including old vases, pottery, swords, granite tablets with carvings, uniforms of mandarins and kings of yesteryears, ethnic groups and more.
It is split into two parts,
1...... On the history of Vietnam from the times when the area was first settled (about 300,000 years ago) to 1930 – eg. ....when the Vietnamese Communist Party was born. This tells about primitive period in Vietnam and through the various dynasties.
2 ... displays ethnic minority groups in Vietnam etc. and ancient pottery of a few Asian countries
A statue of the Buddha with 1,000 eyes and 1,000 arms is also part of the museum's collection.
There is also a water puppet show, with an extra charge.
OPEN 8am-11.30am & 1.30pm - 4.30pm
COST 15000 dong
Besides the usual history stuff, there's an old plane and heli on the grounds. I also love the history exhibits on the war period. There's also a section on past currencies used in Vietnam, from way back to when it was occupied by the french to the present notes. They have a section on foreign currencies - see if you can spot your country's currency. Chances are, you maynot even recognise that note, since it was the early days currency. I sure didn't recognise the first currency note of my country.
Entrance fee: 15,000D or USD1.
An excellent introduction to Vietnamese history and culture from the primitive era (circa 500, 000 years ago) and through the dynasties of Hung Kings, Ly, Tran, Le, Tay Son and Nguyen.
Formal dressing required and no pictures allowed.
There is also a water puppet theatre but will only performed if more than 5 persons have bought tickets. If you are going to Hanoi, the puppet show is better there.
Open Monday to Sutarday 8am=11am, 1:30pm-4pm
Sunday and holidays 8:30am-4pm
entrance is Vnd15. Unlike other museums, they wil give u 3 Vnd5 tickets instead of 1. its a nice place to see. There are ancient vietnam relics there and s0me buddhas from angkor wat. There is a mummy there which was rescently escavated in dist.5. And, the funny water puppet show! $2 though.
HCMC's History Museum is a model of what such institutions ought to be: well laid out, with good lighting, and a fine overview the history and customs of the peoples of Vietnam. The museum also has many Cambodian items, especially from the Khmer civilization that existed in Mekong Delta region until a couple hundred years ago.
The building itself was erected by the French in 1929.
No pictures are allowed inside the museum.
The History Museum Is a well-rounded and informative presentation of 4000 years of Vietnamese history. The recent war takes a back seat here and you'll see sturdy French cannons, Khmer relics, ancient pottery and bronze and even a local mummy. Water puppet shows entertain during busier hours. Since it's free of strident politics its probably the most professional and academic museum in the city.
If you have nothing better to do you can visit the Museum of History but I have to admit the motorcycle ride over was much more fun than actually visiting the museum. Most of the museum talks about battles and different emperors that took over Vietnam. Only takes about 1 hour to go through the whole museum. Does contain a water puppet theater however if you didn't get a chance to see water puppetry in the North.
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