The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi, Vietnam, is a captivating destination that should be at the top of your list. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich history and diverse culture of the 54 ethnic groups residing in Vietnam.
Not only does this museum provide an excellent educational experience, but its surroundings also resemble a lush green park, making it an ideal place for a refreshing and enlightening day of exploration.
Table of content
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, which was inaugurated in 1997, stands as a remarkable architectural creation by Ha Duc Linh, an esteemed architect hailing from the Tày ethnic group.
Spanning over 4 hectares, the museum boasts three primary exhibition areas.
The first is located within the Bronze Drum building, offering a comprehensive display of various artifacts.
Inside the Bronze Drum building
The second is an expansive outdoor exhibition area, where visitors can immerse themselves in the cultural heritage of Vietnam's diverse ethnic groups.
A part of outdoor display in the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
Lastly, there is the Southeast Asian exhibition area, providing valuable insights into the broader Southeast Asian region. Together, these exhibition areas form an integral part of the museum's captivating and enlightening experience
The Kite-shaped building Southeast Asia Exhibition in Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
In 2013, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology earned the prestigious sixth position on TripAdvisor's esteemed list of the 25 most captivating museums in Asia, solidifying its reputation as a prominent cultural destination.
As a reliable and globally recognized tourism website, TripAdvisor's recognition highlights the museum's exceptional appeal and allure.
Since then, the museum has continued to captivate the hearts of both domestic and international tourists alike. It has become a popular choice for visitors from all corners of the globe, drawing in a substantial number of eager tourists each day.
Its ability to attract a diverse range of visitors is a testament to the museum's enduring significance and its ability to offer a profound understanding of Vietnam's ethnic history and culture.
Situated on Nguyen Van Huyen Street, Cau Giay, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is conveniently located approximately 8 kilometers away from the heart of Hanoi.
Getting to the museum is a hassle-free affair, as you have multiple transportation options at your disposal.
Whether you prefer traveling by car, motorbike, taxi, or bus, you can easily reach the museum with relative ease. For those unfamiliar with the city, I recommend utilizing Grab, a popular ride-hailing service, to navigate Hanoi comfortably and conveniently.
Grab ensures a seamless travel experience, allowing you to explore the city and reach your desired destinations without any inconvenience.
For the Bus, you can take bus No 14 from Hoan Kiem Lake, to Long Bien - Quan Thanh str - Thuy Khue str - Hoang Quoc Viet Str. At this point, get off the bus at 90 Hoang Quoc Viet ( T junction with Nguyen Van Huyen str) then walk to Nguyen Van Huyen str about 500m to reach the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.
Maps of Bus from Hanoi Old Quarter to Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
The Trong Dong building, an architectural marvel, encompasses the entirety of a two-story structure spanning an impressive area of 25,000 square meters.
Inspired by the iconic bronze drum, a symbol of Vietnamese civilization, the building's design pays homage to this significant cultural artifact.
In front of Bronze Drum building
Upon entering the building, you'll discover a captivating array of exhibits on the first floor. More than 15,000 artifacts and 42,000 photographs vividly portray the everyday life, rituals, and ceremonial practices of each ethnic group. These exhibits are thoughtfully presented and accompanied by translations in Vietnamese, English, and French, enabling visitors from diverse backgrounds to engage with the displays.
Display inside the Bronze Drum building
Ascending to the second floor, you'll encounter ever-changing thematic exhibitions. These displays undergo periodic transformations, offering fresh perspectives and insights into various aspects of Vietnam's ethnic heritage. With each visit, you'll have the opportunity to delve into different captivating themes that the museum curates for an enriching experience.
Culture display of highland hill tribe in Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
One of the most enchanting areas of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is the outdoor exhibition space.
Within the lush and meticulously designed garden, you'll find an impressive showcase of various traditional house models belonging to different ethnic groups. Please note that all the houses are real - not the model scale.
Viet (Kinh) house in the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
These architectural gems include the charming Cham house, the iconic Viet house, the unique Ha Nhi House, the solemn Gia Rai's grave house, the distinct Hmong roofed house, and the captivating Ede house. Each structure represents the distinctive architectural style and cultural identity of its respective ethnic group.
A beautiful house of Bahnar hill trible
Exploring this outdoor exhibition area allows visitors to immerse themselves in the rich diversity of Vietnam's ethnic heritage.
It offers a glimpse into the traditional dwellings and lifestyles of these vibrant communities, providing a deeper understanding and appreciation of their cultural legacy.
A long house of Ede people
Zao house with special bamboo roof
Hmong house with the wooden roof
Ha Nhi house with special wall and thatched roof
This is a captivating space where visitors can discover the essence of dreams, ambitions, and freedom symbolized by the majestic kite.
This area serves as a gateway to explore the rich cultural heritage of Southeast Asia and beyond. It showcases a diverse range of exhibits, including Indonesian glass paintings that offer a glimpse into the vibrant artistic traditions of the region. The displays provide a unique opportunity to delve into the tapestry of Asian cultures, featuring artifacts and materials from various countries.
Moreover, this area goes beyond mere exhibitions. It offers a multitude of educational activities, interactive halls, movie rooms, and multimedia facilities. These resources enable visitors to fully immerse themselves in the cultural materials not only from Vietnam but also from other ASEAN countries. The museum strives to create an engaging and informative experience, fostering cross-cultural understanding and appreciation among its visitors.
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is not only a place of exhibitions but also a vibrant hub of cultural activities and special art performances. During weekends, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy captivating water puppet shows, cultural events, and folk festivals.
For those interested in attending these performances, the ticket prices are 50,000 VND for adults and 30,000 VND for children ( updated May 2023).
Water puppet in the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
This nominal fee grants access to an enchanting world of cultural entertainment, further enriching the overall museum experience. Be sure not to miss the chance to witness these delightful performances and immerse yourself in the magic of Vietnamese traditions.
There are 4 shows every Saturday and Sunday:
In the morning:
Show 1: 10.00- 10.30
Show 2: 11.00 - 11.30
In the afternoon:
Show 3: 14.00 - 14.30
Show 4: 15.30 - 16.00
Water stage for Puppet show in Vietnam Musueum of Ethnology
8.30AM - 5.30PM
From Tuesday to Sunday ( Close on Monday and Lunar New Year holidays)
Entrance fee: 40 000 VND ( US$ 1.8 )
During your visit:
- Do not touch, sit or move the objects/ artifacts in the museum
- Bring your small bag as there is no storage service
- No foods or drinks inside the museum ( There are some fast food cafe shops in the garden of museum)
- No smoking, no bringing the things that are flammable, explosive.
- For photos, do not use flash in the galleries.