The Museum of Ethnology is a great museum, and If you only are going to visit one museum in Hanoi this is the one…! The museum covers the culture of the various ethnic groups in Vietnam and consists of an indoor exhibition and a huge open-air exhibition.
The indoor section has exhibitions of clothes, agricultural tools, fishing instruments, musical instruments, and religious artefacts - belonging to the many ethnic groups of Vietnam. Outside the museum there is a huge open-air exhibition with several houses of ethnic groups: the Tay stilt house, the Bahnar communal house with an impressive height of 19 meters, the Ede longhouse, the Viet house, the Giarai Tomb, and more…
We decided to take the local bus rather than a taxi. Get hotel to write down name of museum in Vietnamese or go to the museum's website and click on Viet rather than English! It is totally different to English. Go to the square at the north end of Hoan Kiem Lake and get no 14 bus. Set fee of 3000 dong per person - conductor will take money and give you a ticket. Show him your destination so he can tell you when to get off.
Takes about half an hour. You travel along narrow roads to the south of West Lake, then the bus does a left turn, followed almost immediately by a right turn into a wide boulevard. Stop is about 400m along. You then have to cross two lanes of traffice, cross median strip and cross two more lanes! Back track to the T junction and head south about 500m to the museum (on left). You can't miss it. Entry is 25,000.
I enjoyed the description of the tribes that make up the country, and the displays of all the different costumes worn by them. Then out the back is a life sized display of different types of houses of many tribes in Vietnam.
There is also a cafe with reasonable meals which supports disadvantaged youth.
The museum of ethnology is around 8 kilometers from the city center in the Cau Giay district, but it´s really interesting and worth the detour.
It´s dedicated to all the minority groups of Vietnam and shows you the diversity of the nation in a pretty interesting way.
You have an indoor museum aswell as an outdoor section where you have several traditional minority houses build.
Be ware that the museum is a big hit with vietnamese schools and it can quite often be packed with hundreds of chool kids who all want to say hello to you and shake your hand.
Quite charming and funny, but also very noisy.
I was going to visit the Water Puppet show in Hanoi itself, only to find it was booked out for 2 days.
I visited the Ethnology Museum, and to my surprise, they hold a Water Puppet show here. Well, I thought, I will pay the money and watch a show here instead!
The water puppetry is performed in a outdoor pool of water with the water surface being the stage. The puppeteers stand behind a screen and control the puppets using long bamboo rods and string mechanism hidden beneath the water surface. [You don't see them] The puppets are carved out of wood and often weigh up to 15 kg.
A traditional Vietnamese orchestra sat beside the outdoor pool playing the music.
After the performance, the puppeteers showed them selves to the audience.
So, if you are like me, and want to see them, and the show is completely booked, maybe come here.
The Museum is excellent, and for an extra 25,000 dong, you can see a Water Puppet show.
Performances at 10, 11:30, 2:30 and 4pm
Cost in 2011.....25,000 dong (adults)....3,000 dong (children)
Not only does this Museum have an excellent outdoor display, the Indoors display is excellent as well.
The Museum has a large collection on display of objects of daily use, like knives, baskets, mats, etc., used by the different 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam.
It also has the clothing collection, agricultural tools, fishing instruments, musical instruments and jewellery belonging to the 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam.
Even artifacts related to various religious customs, rituals wedding and funeral ceremonies are kept at the Museum.
This Museum covers a large area, and is very interesting, one I was glad that I got to visit and enjoy.
OPEN 8.30 - 5.30PM DAILY
ADMISSION in 2011.....25,000DONG
EXTRA 50,000 EACH FOR CAMERA & VIDEO CAMERA
This Museum is one that I wanted to see, and it didn't disappoint! It had an excellent outdoor and indoor exhibition centre, showcasing the 54 different ethnic groups of Vietnam, their clothes and their tools, their homes as well, etc.
You can also watch videos if you wish,[I didn't!]
Outdoors, you will see dwellings that are either preserved in their original state or being remade. I was able to walk into all the different homes, these included the Tay stilt house, Yao House on half stilts and half earth, the Hanhi house made out of beaten walls, Giarai Tomb, Se dang Communal house to name a few. The interiors of the house feature the living and dining areas.
Walk around and have a look around and inside the homes and Tombs.
I watched the WATER PUPPET SHOW which cost an additional cost of 20,000dong.
I always like these types of Museum's!
ADMISSION IN 2011 is 25,000 Dong
EXTRA CHARGE OF 50,000 Dong for Camera and 50,000 Video
OPEN 8.30 - 5.30pm Closed Mondays and Vietnam New Year
This Tay house from Dinh Hoa district, Thai Nguyen province, rests on very high stilts, creating an area below that is used for penning animals, storage and other activities such as a place for women to dye and weave cloth.
This house is from Yen Bai province, Mu Cang Chai district. The Hmong are one of the largest Ethnic groups in Vietnam and are divided into different groups such as the White Hmong, Flower Hmong, Green Hmong and Black Hmong. The latter group can be found if you take a trip up to Sa Pa which is what I did.
This rather eyebrow raising structure comes from Gia Lai province. The large wooden figures encircling the tomb are intended to accompany the dead into the afterlife. Sexually explicit carvings and those of pregnant women are symbols of fertility.
This structure is modelled on a longhouse in Ky village, Buon Ma Thuot, Dak Lak province. It is over 42 metres long and would have accommodated the families of daughters and grand-daughters of an extended family. During the 1980's both longhouses and the communal living organisation that they fostered disappeared rapidly from the Central Highlands.
This house is from a family in Thanh Hoa province. The main hall used for ancestor worship is linked to a space for teaching and learning. The arrangement makes the house longer than most traditional houses. The carved wooden beams of the central hall are nearly 100 years old and it has an annex and a kitchen. The house also features looms and several wooden water puppets in various stages of being built plus their history.
The star attraction of the Ethnic houses outside, the towering peak of a thatched Banhar communal home is some 19 metres high and was built in 2003 by 42 villagers from Kon Rbang village min the Central Highlands. According to the Bahnar, a communal house is the symbol of skill, strength of the villagers, especially the power of men.
This junk of the Khmer people was brought from Tam Soc Temple in My Tu district to the museum in May 2008. It's 25m long with a maximum width of 1.37m and is made of sao wood. Ngo junks are used in races during the moon worshipping festival which is held annually on the 15th October. This junk has 26 pairs of oars for 52 rowers and won 14 out of 18 races.
After exiting the museum building, this is one of the first Ethnic house groups you'll come to in the museums grounds. Around 127,000 live in Vietnam's central regions and they form the core of the Muslim communities in both Cambodia and Vietnam.
Open: 8.30am-5.30pm every day except Mondays. Admission: 25,000 VND.
This is one of the best museums in Vietnam, yet alone Hanoi but is somewhat inconveniently located in the western suburbs of the city. If you're interested in learning more about the 54 ethnic minorities populating Vietnam's hinterlands, make the jaunt out to this sprawling compound (go by cab or moto). Vietnam's different ethnic groups, their history, and customs are explained in photos, videos, and displays of clothing and daily implements. Be sure to check out Mr Pham Dang Uy's bicycle - loaded down with some 800 wooden and bamboo fish traps! Also check out a display on Christians including Father Christmas pushing a bicycle.
But, the best part of this museum lies outside in its grounds as it's here you'll find some fine examples of minority group housing. These include the towering peak of a thatched Banhar communal home, an Ede longhouse, and other houses from the Cham, Viet, Hmong, Hanhi, Yao and Tay people. You can visit inside each one which are decked out with traditional implements used for cooking and such like. A wonderful museum that shouldn't be missed.
Open: 8.30am-5.30pm every day except Mondays. Admission: 25,000 VND.