This museum is well worth visiting as it provides a stark contrast between the beauty of present day Vietnam and its violent past.
Outside, there is an interesting exhibition of the military hardware used by both sides during the Vietnam war. There is a real contrast in how the hardware of both sides is presented. Inside, not all of the exhibits have English translations but even without these, and accounting for some bias in the commentary, you are presented with thought provoking material that is explicit in highlighting the true horror of war. I found the exhibits around the use of Agent Orange particularly harrowing.
Admission is 40,000VND and you are expected to pay an additional 30,000VND to use a camera.
This museum was interesting and not as disturbing as the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh. The most memorable part were the wrecked tanks and military vehicles placed outside. A huge heap of wreckage contained the remains of a shot down American B-52 bomber, a US F111 Aardvark bomber and a French transport plane.
The centrepiece of the outside exhibits is this huge pyramid that has been put together by an artist out of the wreckage of a B-52, F-111 and a French transport plane - all of which were shot down. At the centre is a billboard-sized photographic blow up of a female Viet Cong soldier dragging the wing of an American plane across the beach - it's sort of 'pop art' meets 'socialist realism' and the whole effect is graphically dynamic and strangely resonant.
Open: 8-11.30am & 1.30-4.30pm every day except Friday & Monday. Admission: 20,000 VND
A real man’s museum, this one. Also known as, simply, the Army Museum, it’s full of boy’s toys that were used in the wars against the French and Americans and epitomizes Vietnam’s struggle against colonial powers. The museum is arranged in a series of galleries that start with the period of Chinese colonisation, through to the French period, and then on to the American War and more recent skirmishes. The displays are generally well done and sometimes fascinating with more than the usual collection of guns, spears, and ammo, as well as a good deal of photojournalism and historical background provided in English. However, it’s the outdoor exhibits that really define this museum with aircraft, tanks, bombs, and big guns, some with signs indicating just how many of which enemy the piece took out. There's a tank belonging to the troops that crashed through the Presidential Palace gates on April 30, 1975, Vietnamese Liberation Day. There’s also plenty of downed French and U.S. aircraft wreckage, just to add to the nationalistic pride. The centrepiece is a huge pyramid that has been put together by an artist out of the wreckage of a B-52, F-111 and a French transport plane - all of which were shot down.
Open: 8-11.30am & 1.30-4.30pm every day except Friday & Monday. Admission: 20,000 VND.
This is a fascinating look into the way the Vietnamese have defended their country against foreign invaders. The focus is on Resistance Wars of the Ho Chi Minh era. The wreckage strewn about makes it seem like a war zone in places and gives a good perspective. The collection inside the museum is thought provoking to say the least. When we arrived, a young man offered to be our guide for a small 'tip'. He seemed nice enough so we agreed and proceeded to be bored to tears for the better part of an hour. The fact that he was a 'close talker' didn't help matters...very uncomfortable to have someone so in your space! He was however, very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and obviously proud of his country, which is always good to see. He was very thorough in his tour and was able to answer every question that we put to him. From what I understood, he works here purely for tips and it is how he is supporting himself through university. I felt that we made the right decision all in all. we learned things that we would not have on our own. If you are approached by one of these guides, do consider using them. Just make sure they are wearing ID.
Alongside of the museum is the Flag Tower, built from 1805 to 1812. If you climb to the top of the tower there are fabulous views.
Open 8am-11.30am & 1pm-4.30pm
Closed Monday and Friday
As a tourist the Vietnam Military History Museum is a must go visit. It offers the history of Vietnam people military army defending the nation against foreign invaders. The museum covers the war against the Chinese, the French colonist and the American War.
Inside the museum there are military displays showing the Ho Chi Minh Resistance Wars. Other displays are military maps, captured military arsenal, bicycles carrying heavy weapons, photograph of captured American pilot, photograph of battles and Ho Chi Minh. Also written document on Ho Chi Minh philosophy thought and his future vision on Vietnam.
Also inside you will find T54 B No 843 the famous tank that burst through the gates and seizure of the Saigon Presidential Palace in April 1975.
Outside in the open air display the main attraction is a pile of wreckage from US B52 bomber with photo of female guerrilla fighter dragging the wing. Also captured US helicopter, plane from the US Air Force and Navy. Other assortment of military arsenal including canons, Soviet built Mig fighter jet, tanks, anti aircraft missiles and others.
Near the Army Museum there is a Flag Tower, also called Cot Co, visitor can climb the tower and admire the views of the city.
By visiting the museum now at least I know the other side version of the Vietnam War or they call it the American War.
Open: Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Saturday and Sunday. Close: Monday and Friday.
Operation hours: 08.00 - 11.30, 13.00 - 16.30.
Cost 20,000 VND
Price of admission is 20,000 VND and 5,000 VND to use a camera. Opening hours are; 8-00am to 11-30am, 1-00pm to 4-30pm. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. (Closed on Monday and Friday).
Vietnam has been in war for god know how long, fighting with the cham, khmer, the chinese, french and american. This is quite a good place to see some of the artifects collected as well as war left over such as a wrecked up B-52.
This museum, housed in a magnificent and large two-story white building, is the most popular museum in Hanoi for tourists. Throughout this museum, you will learn about the history of warfare in Vietnam from the 1930s to today, focusing mainly on the French and American eras ('50s-'70s). There are weapons, tanks, photographs, and many gifts from countries supporting North Vietnam during the wars. There is also one great hall filled with dioramas displaying various battle scenes.
Outside of the building we saw a MiG 21 fighter jet, anti-aircraft guns, plus wreckage from several American and French planes piled against a tree. I noticed debris of one US Navy airplane had he name LT Greene painted under the canopy; I wonder what became of him after he was shot down?
Lenin Park, with a statue of Vladimir Lenin, is across the street from the Army Museum.
Cot Co Flag Tower was built by the French as an observation tower in 1812. This is one of the few old architectural gems to survive the French and American wars in Vietnam. The tower has three platforms with somewhat of a maze of easily dependable passages leading to the spiral stairs of the tower. Cot Co Tower has the best view of central Hanoi.
The Vietnam Military Museum is a must for anyone who is interested in history. This museum is interesting in that it covers Vietnam's history of defending itself from foreign invaders over 4,000 years. In this context the war involving the US and its allies can be viewed as only one battle the Vietnamese fought to maintain their independence. Resistance to the French is depicted as another struggle. It is also interesting to conjecture after having been to this museum that given their past successes in defending Vietnam there was little likelihood that they would lose.
There are 10 display areas/rooms as well as an open air display with various tanks etc and a "monument" honouring those who have defended Vietnam.
Note that there is a "lunch break" from 11.30-13.00pm when the museum is closed and it is not open on Mondays and Fridays
If you are interested to know about the history of the war and the soldiers, you can visit the Army Museum.
The Army Museum gives an overview of maps, photos and scale models of the Vietnamese war against China, French and USA invasions.