Discover a huge array of exhibitions that explore Vietnam’s intriguing and sometimes troubled past.
View collections of pre-historic artifacts, cultural treasures and folk art on a visit to the fascinating Museum of Ho Chi Minh City. Understand the nation’s recent history of conflict from a local point of view and get close to a real American fighter jet.
Before you head inside the museum, take a few minutes to look around the building’s stunning exterior. Built in 1885, this French neoclassical mansion is fronted with tall columns and a grand balcony above the entrance. The building was once the palace used by the governor of Cochinchina.
The first displays you come across investigate the ancient history of civilization in Vietnam. Admire perfectly preserved tools as well as two long, carved wooden boats that transported people and food along the Saigon River. Photographs show the archeological sites where these relics were found, while colorful paintings depict scenes from early tribes and villages.
Continue through the museum to learn more about the city’s long-standing culture. See the bright clothes and decorations that have been used at traditional weddings for centuries. There are also examples of the handmade jewelry and ceramics that are still used as part of such ceremonies today.
Step forward in time to the challenging years of war and revolution portrayed on the top floor of the museum. Find out what it would have been like to be a soldier in the country’s many different conflicts via written testimonials and photographic displays. You will also find a collection of American memorabilia such as guns, medals and uniforms in this area.
Head outside into the garden where several larger souvenirs of the American conflict are displayed. Touch the F-5 jet that bombed the presidential palace in 1975 and get close to a Huey UH-1 helicopter.
The Museum of Ho Chi Minh City is on Ly Tu Trong Street in District One. The museum is open every day and there is a small admission charge.