War Remnants Museum - Top attractions in Ho Chi Minh City

Last updated - January 27, 2024
War Remnants Museum - Top attractions in Ho Chi Minh City

The War Remnants Museum stands as a renowned historical landmark in Saigon, offering visitors a profound insight into the relentless struggle for independence, freedom, and peace that the Vietnamese people endured.

By immersing yourself in the War Remnants Museum, you embark on a journey to comprehend the arduous battles fought and gain an understanding of the perspectives held by locals regarding the Vietnam War.

Each exhibit within the museum, including weaponry, documents, and photographs, serves as indisputable testimony of the war crimes committed in Vietnam, while also paying tribute to the courageous acts carried out by the preceding Vietnamese generations.

The location and How to get to War Remnants Museum

Located at 28 Vo Van Tan street. The intersection of Vo Van Tan and Le Quy Don streets, the War Remnants Museum enjoys a prime location in close proximity to the bustling city center and other popular tourist destinations in Saigon. A mere 5-minute stroll from the Independence Palace, and approximately a 10-minute walk from both Notre Dame Cathedral and Saigon Central Post Office, this museum offers convenient accessibility to visitors eager to explore the rich history and cultural landmarks of the city.

Location of War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh city

The most convenient and straightforward way to reach the museum is by taxi, which can be found easily in all tourist areas. From city center - District 1, the taxi fare should be less than VND 50,000 (about $2).
Or by bus is a great option. From Ben Thanh market, take the bus number 28. From Cho Lon, take bus number 06 is the ideal choice.

Another excellent transportation option is to use ride-sharing apps such as Grab which provide convenient car or motorbike rides to the museum.
Whichever mode of transportation you choose, rest assured that reaching the War Remnants Museum is easily achievable and offers various options to suit different preferences and budgets.

History of War Remnants Museum

Managed by the Vietnamese government, the War Remnants Museum had its origins on September 4, 1975, when it initially emerged as the Exhibition House for the US and Republic of Vietnam. Housed within the premises of the former United States Information Agency building, this museum became an integral part of a longstanding tradition of exhibitions shedding light on war crimes.

 This tradition traces its roots back to the era of French colonial dominance and extended to encompass the period of American influence following 1954. Although preceding exhibitions had already addressed these war crimes from the perspective of the North Vietnamese side, the War Remnants Museum represented a continuation of this crucial endeavor, serving as a powerful testament to the atrocities committed during both periods of domination.

The outside display in War Remnants Museum

In the year 1990, the museum underwent a significant transformation and its name was changed to the Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Invasion. It was a poignant reflection of the museum's dedication to exposing the injustices inflicted upon the Vietnamese people during times of war.

As diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the United States normalized and the US embargo came to an end in 1995, the museum's purpose evolved, prompting a renaming of the building to the War Remnants Museum.

From 2002 to 2010, extensive renovations and modernization efforts were undertaken, culminating in the completion of the construction on April 30, 2010. Since then, the War Remnants Museum has continued to expand its exhibition scope, delving into the periods of French and Japanese colonization, as well as the aftermath of the war, offering visitors a comprehensive narrative of Vietnam's historical journey.

Things to see at War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum encompasses both outdoor exhibitions and a prominent 3-storey exhibition building, covering an expansive floor area of 4,522 square meters. The museum proudly houses a collection of 20,000 documents, artifacts, and films that collectively bear witness to the profound impact of the Vietnam War.

It is important to note that the museum's displays have an unflinching dedication to revealing the brutal truth of the war and its enduring, traumatic consequences. As a result, certain materials within the museum may be unsettling or disturbing. Therefore, if you are considering bringing your children along for a visit, it is advisable to carefully assess whether they are emotionally prepared to engage with such content.

Outdoor exhibition

Within the museum's courtyard, you will encounter a captivating display of diverse heavy weaponry employed by the US Army during the Vietnam War. Noteworthy exhibits include imposing US Air Force helicopters, aircraft, and formidable armored tanks.

Additionally, the museum showcases an array of weapons, including missiles, bombs, and mines, which were once active but have now been rendered inert with their detonators disarmed, ensuring safety while allowing visitors to observe them up close.

Boms in War Remnants Museum outdoor exhibition

Towards the rear of the museum, you will encounter an area known as the Tiger Cages, housing replicas of the actual Tiger Cages that were utilized in the notorious prison on Con Dao island. These barbed-wire enclosures served as instruments of torture, employed by the South Vietnamese government to secretly confine and inflict torment upon political prisoners.

Ground floor exhibition

See how the world support Vietnam in the war.

Upon entering the museum through the front door, your attention will be drawn to an exhibition situated across the room, adjacent to the stairs. This is the display, titled "The World Supports Vietnam in the Resistance War," comprises an impressive collection of 100 photographs and 145 artifacts. It vividly portrays the global solidarity and support extended to Vietnam during the resistance against the United States and highlights the widespread protests against the Vietnam War.

Furthermore, the museum proudly exhibits a selection of remnants generously contributed by American soldiers as a gesture of regret for their involvement in the senseless war in Vietnam.

First floor exhibition

The effects of Agent Orange
There are 2 galleries in this floor: the "Aftermath of Agent Orange in the Devastating War in Vietnam" and the "Aggressive War Crimes" collection.

The first gallery unveils the profound devastation inflicted upon the Vietnamese lands and its people by toxic chemicals. Particularly between 1961 and 1971, the United States unleashed over 100 million liters of these harmful substances, including 386 kilograms of Dioxin.

Consequently, vast stretches of Vietnamese land became contaminated, leaving an indelible mark on the environment and the lives of the people. It is estimated that nearly 4.8 million Vietnamese individuals, spanning across generations, were directly affected, facing significant risks of severe disabilities. Disturbingly, the enduring effects of these toxic chemicals persist even to this day.

The second gallery, the "Aggressive War Crimes" offers a comprehensive display of 125 photographs, 22 documents, and 243 remnants that vividly illustrate the heinous war crimes committed and their profound impacts on Vietnam and its people. This collection serves as a stark reminder of the immense suffering endured throughout the war.

Tourists are seeing the photo of children who were affected agent orange

As the conflict drew to a close, the devastating toll became apparent. It is estimated that the war resulted in approximately 3 million fatalities, leaving an additional 2 million injured and 200,000 individuals missing. Moreover, the country itself bore the brunt of extensive infrastructure damage and destruction, further exacerbating the long-lasting consequences of the conflict.

Second floor exhibition

Vietnam war and the Peace.
Ascending to the top floor of the War Remnants Museum, visitors are provided with a comprehensive overview of the Second Indochina War through captivating exhibitions like "Vietnam War and Peace" and "Historical Truth." These displays offer poignant insights into the realities of the conflict.

Visitors exploring the War Remnants Museum

Within these exhibitions, one can witness the heartbreaking images of forests ravaged by toxic chemicals, as well as an array of weapons and poignant remnants. These powerful depictions often evoke shock and move visitors to tears, as they are confronted with the unimaginable devastation and far-reaching consequences of the war.

Notices when visiting War Remnants Museum

Opening hours: 7.30 AM to 5.30 PM around the year.
Entrance fee: 40 000 VND/adult - 20 000 VND/child from 6 - 15 YO
Suitable clothes are required when visit the museum
Professional filming or photo for speical purpose must be approved by Museum.
Leaving any bulky luggage you may have at the ticketing office upon arrival. This will allow you to explore the museum unencumbered to ensure the safety of your belonging and Museum’s artifacts.

Visiting War Remnants Museum is one of the top 10 things to do in Ho Chi Minh city during your Vietnam Holiday.

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