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War Museum Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam - Everything You Need To Know

War Museum Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam - Everything You Need To Know

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    War Remnants Ho Chi Minh – Essential Information

    Address: No.28 Vo Van Tan Street, Ward 06, District 03, Ho Chi Minh City

    Tel: (+84) 28 3930 5587 - (+84) 28 3930 6664

    Website: warremnantsmuseum.com

    Email:info@warremnantsmuseum.com

    Open Hours: 07:30 – 18:00 (Everyday including holidays)

    Entrance Fee:

    VND 40,000/person

    Reduce 50% price for students, armed forces, veterans, senior officials of the revolution

    Free for war invalids and martyrs' families, those with children under 6 years of age, children in remote areas

    Type: War Museum

    Good for: history lover, student, family, armed forces, veterans, senior officials of the revolution.

    Established: 1975

    Owner: Government of Vietnam

    Contact for tour guide:

    Tel: (+84) 08 2203 0682 - (+84) 28 3930 6664

    Email: arrmhcm@gmail.com / bt.ctct.svhtt@tphcm.gov.vn

    I. History of The War Museum Ho Chi Minh

    1. Why was the War Remnants Museum established?

    In July 1857 Napoleon III decided to invade Vietnam and other countries in South East Asia. One year later, on August 31st, 1858 The French attacked the Son Tra Peninsula in Danang, which officially started wars of aggression and was the first step of making Vietnam become its colony. Over 100 years, the unyielding people of Vietnam bravely waged national war against the French to assert the independence and regain the freedom for the nation. On September 2nd, 1945 at the Ba Dinh Square, President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence to record the victory, end the French Colonial period as well as form the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in Northern Vietnam.

    Read more: Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh– The Essential Travel Guide 2020

    However, the French didn’t give up the conspiracy of invading Vietnam and tried to put the colonial rule of Vietnam one more time. After the military defeat in 1954 and the commitment in the 1954 Geneva meeting, the French had to withdraw from Vietnam. After that, Vietnam was ravaged by another War – the Second Indochina War (widely known as the Vietnam War) between Vietnam and the U.S Imperialists and puppets. By waging wars of aggression in the South, the U.S Imperialists wanted to set new kind of colonialism in Vietnam. As a consequence, Vietnam had to suffer losses and damages for more than 30 years. During that tough period, Vietnamese heroic people had resiliently and bravely fight with a lot of sacrifices and hardship to regain independence for the country.

    To expose the war crimes as well as remind people of the value of peace, the Government of Vietnam decided to establish a war museum.

    2. The mission War Remnants Museum Ho Chi Minh

    War Museum Ho Chi Minh now preserves and displays a wide range of documents, materials, photographs, and other evidence of the war crime, the damaging consequence, and severe damages caused to Vietnam. Thereby, War Mueum Hso Chi Minh reminds people of the sacrifice of the heroic people, presents the desire for peace, educates people of the value of peace, and stirs in the public especially in the young generation the mental struggle for the independence and freedom of their country. In addition, when visiting War Museum Ho Chi Minh also educate people about the anti-war sense of invasion, to protect the peace and enhance the solidarity friendship among nations in the world

    3. History highlight of War Museum Ho Chi Minh

    On September 4th, 1975 the museum called “Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes” was officially opened. Situated in the former the United States Information Agency Building, the exhibition was not the first one but following the tradition of such an exhibition of displaying the remnants and exposing the brutal crimes of the French Colony and The U.S Imperialists in the war.

    In 1990, the name of the exhibition was changed into Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Aggression. In 1995, after the normalization of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the United State and the end of the US embargo, the word “war” and aggression” were removed from the title. And the museum was renamed “War Remnants Museum”. On July 27th, 2002 War Museum Ho Chi Minh was reconstructed to facilitate the activity and attract more and more visitors to the museum

    Since established, War Museum Ho Chi Minh has been under the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    4. Title & Award of War Museum Ho Chi Minh

    Labor Order No. 3 (1995)

    The Second  Class Labor Medal (2001)

    - The Chinese tradition of the City People's Committee (2010)

    The title of one of five typical museum

    The Excellent honor flag from the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ho Chi Minh City

    The Excellent honor flag from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

    Top 10 most interesting attractions of Ho Chi Minh City (voted by domestic and foreign guests in November 2009)

    The most attractive museums for foreign visitors in Asia

    II. The outdoor exhibition space of War Museum Ho Chi Minh

    War Museum Ho Chi Minh consists of two main parts including the outdoor and the indoor exhibition space. From the entrance to the museum is the outdoor space where a wide range of weapons and military hardware of the U.S Imperialists are on display. When visiting this space, you can have chance of watching and learning a lot of meaningful story behind the army equipment which were captured, abandoned or handed over to the South Vietnamese regime such as Main battle tank, Chinook aircraft, Jet aircraft, Reconnaissance aircraft, F-111 fighter-bomber jet, artillery shells, cannonball, howitzers, and bomb. Without this space, we cannot imagine how much military hardware the U.S Forces and its puppet had poured to Vietnam.

    1. Tank Collection at War Museum Ho Chi Minh

    • Role: Main Battle Tank
    • Number: M48 tanks A.3
    • History Fact: The U.S Imperialists used in the Vietnam War in July 1969
    • Weight: 47.2 tons
    • Maximum speed: 48km/h
    • Equipped with: a 90-mm cannon, and a machine gun. In addition, M48 A43 features a 7.62 - mm parallel, machine gun turret size 50, and a modern fire infrared inspection system and xenon lights

     

    • Role: Main Battle Tank
    • Number: M41 tanks
    • Common name: M41 Walker Bulldog’; 76-mm Gun Tank, M41
    • History Fact: The U.S Forces used in the Vietnam War since 1963
    • Weight: 23 tons
    • Maximum speed: 72.4km/h
    • Equipped with:  A long-barreled 76mm cannon, shoot 1phut/65 speed, Dalian 30M.1919 A4 

    2. Aircraft Collect at War Museum Ho Chi Minh

    • Role: Transport Helicopter
    • Number: 086
    • Common name: Boeing CH-47 Chinook
    • National origin: United States
    • Manufacturer: Boeing Rotorcraft Systems
    • History Service: In 1965 CH-47 Chinook carried the Cavalry Division 1 of the United States to Vietnam. Then, it delivered the artillery garrison and make sure to provide enough ammunition for the cannon for the U.S Army

     

    • Role: Light ground-attack aircraft
    • Number: 01285
    • Common name: Cessna A-37 Dragonfly, or Super Tweet
    • National origin: United States
    • Manufacturer: Cessna
    • History Service: Aircraft A37.B is used to drop bomb targeting on land and sea. It’s also used to attack escort transport aircraft, and destroy the resupply convoy.

     

    • Role: Utility helicopter
    • Number: 15753
    • Common name: Bell UH-1 Iroquois Nickname: Huey
    • National origin: United States
    • Manufacturer: Bell Helicopter
    • Operational history: Bell UH-1 was used widely in the Vietnam war  with the role of general support, air assault, cargo transport, aeromedical evacuation, search and rescue, electronic warfare, and ground attack

     

    • Role: Attack aircraft
    • Number: 39674
    • Common name: Douglas A-1 Skyraider
    • Nickname: Spad
    • National origin: United States
    • Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company
    • Operational History: The U.S Navy used Douglas A-1 Skyraider to strike against North Vietnam on 5th August 1964 as part of Operation Pierce Arrow in response to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.

     

    • Role: Light fighter
    • Number: 66 – 9170
    • Common name: Northrop F-5A and F-5B Freedom Fighter
    • National origin: United States
    • Manufacturer: Northrop Corporation
    • Operational History: It was flown by a South Vietnamese pilot named Nguyen Thanh Trung to drop bombs on South Vietnam's presidential palace and then landed in North Vietnam to control this area on 8th April 1975.

     

    • Role:   Light utility aircraft
    • Number: 1448
    • Common name: Cessna U-17B Skywagon
    • Manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company
    • Operational History: Cessna U-17B Skywagon is chiefly used in the bush flying and the transport of soldiers.

     

    3. The weapon collection at War Museum Ho Chi Minh

    There are a considerable number of weapons used by the U.S army during the Vietnam war on display at the War Museum Ho Chi Minh rocket, Gatling gun (Rapid-fire gun, hand-cranked machine gun), Artillery Guns, bomb, Daisy Cutter Bomber.

    • Type: Cluster bomb
    • Name: American BLU 24/B cluster bomb
    • History Fact: It was used to cause severe injury and kill human, animal by the iron scraps. BLU 24/B had been heavily used by the U.S Air Force in the South Vietnam since August 1967

     

    • Type: Cluster bomb Fuel Air Explosive
    • Name: CBU – 55B
    • Length: 2.3 meters
    • Consist of: 3 BLU-73 bombs, each bomb is 45 kg.
    • Blast radius: 500 meters
    • History Fact: CBU – 55B was first used in 1972 in Quang Tri Province as the test mode on two lower speed attack aircraft, the A-37 and the A-1.

     

    • Type:  Air to surface conventional bomb
    • Name: BLU-82B/C-130
    • Place of origin: United States
    • Length: 3.5 meters
    • Diameter:1.36  meters
    • Weight of the explosive: 5,700 kg
    • Carried by: C130 Aircraft
    • Blasting diameter: 3.2 kilometers
    • History Fact: BLU-82B/C-130 was used b the U.S Air Force in the South East Vietnam since 1970.

    4. The gruesome prison of the French Colony

    The gruesome prison and the guillotine is one of the strongest evidence of the brutal crimes of the French Colonialists. The guillotine was brought to Vietnam in the early 20th century to behead Vietnamese people against the war and struggling for the independence of the country. After the 1954 Geneva Conference, the former Government of Saigon

    Took this murder machine to all the provinces in South Vietnam to suppress the Vietnamese patriotism and execute the communist people.

    5. The barbed-wired tiger cages at War Remnants Museum

    On the far-left side of the museum is the tiger case of barbed wire which is a replicate of the real one used in the Con Dao Prison. Such cages are very small of which size is about 2.7m x 1.5m x 3m. However, each case was used to keep and torture up to 14 political prisoners during the Vietnam War. Despite being small, these cages have exposed the sinister acts and war crimes against humanity.

    III. The indoor exhibition of War Museum Ho Chi Minh

    War Museum Ho Chi Minh has three floors which are classified into themes. Each floor has a distinct exhibition space as follows:

    First Floor consists of:

    o The world supports Vietnam’s Resistance Exhibition

    o Multi-purpose Room

    Second Floor consists of:

    o War Crimes Exhibition

    o The Consequence of Agent Orange during the American War in Vietnam Exhibition

    o Cinema

    o Meeting Room.

    Third Floor consists of:

    o Historical Truths

    o Requiem: Photo Collection of War Correspondents Died in Action in Indochina

    o Vietnam – War & Peace Exhibition (Collection of Documentary of Japanese war photographer Ishikawa Bunyo)

    o Agent Orange in the War (Collection of Documentary Pictures of Japanese Photographer Nakamura Goro)

    o White Doves Chamber (Children’s Education Chamber)

    Currently, there are more than 15,000 documents, materials, photographs, films, and artifacts about the war during the French Colony (the First Indochina War), the American War (the Second Indochina War), the Counter-offensive on the Southwestern border 1978 (the Cambodian – Vietnamese War), and The Sino-Vietnamese War 1979 (the Third Indochina War).

    1. The Consequence of Agent Orange during the American War in Vietnam Exhibition

    With the authorization of President Kennedy, in 1961 the U.S Air Force officially launched Operation Ranch Hand, whereby the Agent Orange was used to killed forests, agricultural land to destroy the source of natural food and prevent Vietnamese soldiers from using a plant to camouflage.

    During 9 consecutive years from 1962 to 1971, there were more than 75.7 million liters of Agent Orange containing approximately 400 kilograms of dioxin sprayed over the South Vietnam battlefield. Over 20,000 towns and up to 4.8 million innocent people were suffered from the ravage and the aftermath of the Operation Ranch Hand. Dioxin causes lethal effects and is hereditary. As a consequence, up to now, there are millions of Vietnamese people of the next generations of the direct victims still suffering pain, cancer, birth defects, miscarriages, pain, and incessant fatigue. In addition to health effects, Orange Agents devastated the ecological system of South Vietnam. Many forests, major rivers, and fields are destroyed and intoxicated.

    The most heart-rending on display are the fetuses with deformities.

    2. War Crimes Exhibition at War Museum Ho Chi Minh

    Located on the first floor, this room, with a collection of pictures, films, and documents portrays Vietnamese people like the poor victims of aggression and war atrocities. During the war, Vietnamese people had suffered loss, damage, and pain from toxic herbicide, napalm, and unexploded munitions. Besides, this exhibition space is where people display the remnants of the consecutively brutal massacre of a million of innocent people. Hundreds of fields, forests, gardens, and houses were trampled upon and wept out by the bomb rain of the U.S Air Force. Many people cannot help bursting into tear when watching the pictures of countless corpses lying on the ground or pictures of lonely, the picture of a poor 9-year-old child naked running down and screaming because fire was burning her skin, or the picture of a Buddhist monk let the roaring flames consuming his body on the street to against the unjust war. One of the most controversial on display is the image of an American soldier smiling with the severed head of a Vietnamese soldier with the caption “After decapitating some guerrillas, a G.I. (the word describing the soldiers of United State Army and of the U.S Air Force) enjoyed being photographed with their heads in his hands”. Many visitors, especially those from America after watching that image and other photograph collections indicate that this museum is unbiased and just display one side of the matter. They wonder why people don’t show the horrible things that Viet Cong did and what the American soldiers had to be suffered during the war. The answer depends on the point of view of each person. Let’s visit the War Museum Ho Chi Minh to find out the answers on your own.

    3. Requiem Exhibition at War Museum Ho Chi Minh

    Requiem Chamber is where people display the Photo Collection of War Correspondents Died in Action in Indochina. This special collection features 330 pictures recording the historical truths. Those pictures were taken by 134 photographers and international correspondents from 11 countries who died on assignment during the Indochina War. To memorize all the war photographers regardless of their nationality and political viewpoints, each photographer has a biography together with the memorable caption or famous quote. As the tour guides said, many pictures on display here were snapped at the very last moments of the photographers before they were executed. Through this collection, visitors can understand more about the day-to-day experience of those people who fought and sacrificed for freedom. In addition, the Requiem Exhibition takes the visitors through every stage of the war, from the first distant war, the escalation, the quagmire, to the end of the war. Thereby, it galvanizes people struggling for peace as well as opinions against unjust wars in the world.

    4.  The Exhibition “Vietnam – War & Peace”

    The collection “Vietnam – War & Peace” is snapped by a Japanese photographer - Ishikawa Bunyo. Featuring 250 pictures, the collection was set for display for the first time at War Museum Ho Chi Minh and then was exhibited in Japan in May and June 2014.  Setting the first foot in Vietnam in 1964, Ishikawa Bunyo had accompanied the U.S Army and the South Vietnamese Force for more than four years. Not only capturing the American War, Ishikawa Bunyo repeatedly returned to South East Asia to report on the Cambodian Campaign in 1970 and The Sino-Vietnamese War 1979 (the Third Indochina War). Being born in Okinawa Prefecture which used to be suffered severely from war, Ishikawa had sympathy and felt sorry for those people living during the war. Every photo capturing the dying soldiers, innocent farmers or poor children reminded him of the battle in his home country. Therefore, he’s always wholehearted with his pictures.

    “It is important to document the horrors of war,

    even when embedded with an army”

    ___Ishikawa Bunyo___

    5. White Doves Chamber at War Museum Ho Chi Minh

    One of the missions of the War Museum is educating the young generation struggling for world peace as well as galvanizes them opinions against the unjust wars. Therefore, on the third floor of the museum is the Children’s Education Chamber which is widely known as “White Doves”.  Being a part of the project “White Doves Carry Peace” of Vietnam and Japan, this chamber was constructed by the joint effort between the museum and 20 Japanese volunteers in August 2017.

    “The showroom is a symbol of peace, helping strengthen the friendship between the two nations of Vietnam and Japan, both of which have experienced heavy loss

    from wars and have a strong desire for peace.”

    ____Huynh Ngoc Van – Director of War Remnants Museum___

    Japanese artist Okitani Koji – the co-founder of the chamber shared his thought of the opening day that he believed the power of art could call for peace and strengthen the solidarity friendship amongst countries. The White Door Chambers not only develops the harmonious relationship between Vietnam and Japan but also creates a playground of mural paintings for children visiting the museums.

    IV. How to get to War Museum Ho Chi Minh

    1. Getting to War Museum Ho Chi Minh by bus

    Traveling by bus is the cheapest way to get to the War Museum Ho Chi Minh. However, it’s a little uncomfortable and inflexible because all the buses have their schedule and operate for a certain time during the day. In addition, the bus stations are often far from your hotels. Therefore, if you visit Ho Chi Minh City for the first time, it’s difficult for you to get the right bus. Thanks to the development of the Internet, you can check what the suitable bus is for you by visiting the Google Map. Alternatively, you can ask the locals or the receptionist at the hotel for help. Here is the bus taking you to the War Museum Ho Chi Minh.

    Bus No. Duration Price Operation Time Bus Route
    (VND)
    5 29 mins 04:50 – 17:50 The Commitment of Red Cross – Minh Khai Book Store - Turtle Lake – Phan Dinh Phung Gymnasium – War Remnants Museum
    72, 28 38 mins
    120 Sinh Doi Restaurant – No.170 Ly Thai To, No.306 Ly Thai To, Commitment of Red Cross – Minh Khai Book Store - Turtle Lake – Phan Dinh Phung Gymnasium – War Remnants Museum
    6 39 mins 6,000 04:55 – 21:00 The Commitment of Red Cross – Minh Khai Book Store - Turtle Lake – Phan Dinh Phung Gymnasium – War Remnants Museum

    2. Getting to War Museum Ho Chi Minh bus taxi

    If you travel with a group of 4-7 people or travel with your family, traveling by taxi is the great choice for you. The system of the taxi in a big busy city like Ho Chi Minh is pretty good. The biggest disadvantage of the taxi is getting stuck in the traffic jam. Another thing you need to take into considers is the quality of the taxi operator. High price sometimes doesn’t go with the high quality. It’s better for you to use the app called Grab to book a taxi. Grab is like Uber but much more popular in Vietnam. By checking the rating star and the price, you can choose the suitable taxi for you at any time of the day. Alternatively, you can ask the staffs at the hotel to book a taxi for you. You also call for a taxi on your own by contacting the hotline of the taxi companies. Some reliable taxi operators in Ho Chi Minh City include Mai Linh Taxi, Vinasun, Savico, Ben Thanh, and Phuong Trang Taxi. Here is the contact information of some taxi operators.

    taxi brandname 12 Taxi 27-7 Taxi A Taxi Airport Taxi Ben Thanh Taxi Binh Phat Taxi BM Taxi Cho Lon Taxi Dat Thep Taxi Dau Khi Taxi David Taxi Deluxe Taxi Duc Linh Taxi F Taxi Festival Taxi Future Taxi Sai Gon Taxi Gia Dinh Taxi Happy Taxi Hoan My Taxi Hoang Long Taxi Hong Phuc Taxi Khai Hoan Mon Taxi M Taxi Mai Linh Taxi Mai Taxi Nam Phi Long Taxi P Taxi Petrolimex Taxi Phi Long Taxi Phuong Trang Taxi Rang Dong Taxi Sai Gon Hoang Long Taxi Sai Gon Taxi Sai Gon Taxi  (BLANC) Sai Gon Tourist Taxi Sai Gon Air Taxi Sai Gon Taxi Sai Gon  (SASCO) Taxi Sai Gon Xanh Taxi Saigontourist Taxi Savico Taxi Star Taxi Tan A Taxi Tanaco Taxi Thanh Binh Taxi Thien Phuc Taxi Vina Taxi VinaSun Taxi Vina Taxi VN Taxi VT – DL number 2 Taxi V Taxi
    tel (+84) 2838 304 050 (+84) 2839 900 900 (+84) 2838 380 380 (+84) 2838 424 242 (+84) 2838 446 666 (+84) 2838 422 422 (+84) 2838 260 260 (+84) 2838 752 720 (+84) 2838 303 030 (+84) 2838 303 030 (+84) 2838 321 321 (+84) 2835 353 535 (+84) 2838 290 290 (+84) 2838 262 626 (+84) 2839 509 424 (+84) 2838 454 545 (+84) 2838 454545 (+84) 2838 181 818 (+84) 2835 121 212 (+84) 2838 989 898 (+84) 2838 777 777 (+84) 2838 300 000 (+84) 2838 323 323 (+84) 2838 686 868 (+84) 2839 230 230 (+84) 2838 454 545 (+84) 2838 222 666 (+84) 2838 383 838 (+84) 2838 222 666 (+84) 2838 211 821 (+84) 2835 121 212 (+84) 2835 121 212 (+84) 2839 111 111 (+84) 2838 181 818 (+84) 2835 111 111 (+84) 2838 686 868 (+84) 2838  232 323 (+84) 2838 448 888 (+84) 2838 464 646 (+84) 2838 118 118 (+84) 2838 232 323 (+84) 2838 424 242 (+84) 2838 3838 38 (+84) 2838 458 888 (+84) 2838 212 121 (+84) 2838 636 363 (+84) 2838 203 040 (+84) 2838 203 040 (+84) 2838 226 226 (+84) 2838 303 868 (+84) 2838 626 626 (+84) 2838 111 111 (+84) 2838 272 727 / (+84) 28 3827 7178 (+84) 2838 111 111 (+84) 2838 111 222 (+84) 2838 250 250 (+84) 2838 202 020

    3. Getting to War Museum Ho Chi Minh by motorbike

    Riding a motorbike is always an interesting experience when visiting Vietnam. It’s a wonderful choice for you to get to War Museum Ho Chi Minh by motorbike especially in case you travel alone or travel in a couple. Here are some motorbike rental shops in Saigon:

    Saigon Scooter Rental

    Tel: (+84) 93 725 25 09

    Address: 26/1 Nguyen Minh Hoang Street, Ward 12, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City

    Tigit motorbikes

    Tel: (+84) 120 769 5132

    Address: Sarimi Building, No.74 Nguyen Co Thach Street, An Loi Dong Ward, District 02, Ho Chi Minh City

    Saigon Minsk Motorbike Sales, Rentals & Repairs

    Tel: (+84) 775 656 508

    Address:  No. 07 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 01, Ho Chi Minh City

    Chi’s Café

    Tel: (+84) 28 3837 2502

    Address:  No. 185/30 Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 01, Ho Chi Minh City

    V. Conclusion about War Museum Ho Chi Minh

    It has been more than 40 years since the war ended in Vietnam, but the pain is still there. For almost people especially for the young generation, war is just stories, some lines, and some black-and-white pictures in the history book. No one can deny the negative consequence of war left until today. Drawing more than 500,000 visitors, the War Museum Ho Chi Minh is carrying out well its mission to reminds people of the war crimes and educate people about the values of peace. In addition, it commemorates those heroic people who sacrificed and fought for freedom. We are living in a world where many potential wars are likely to happen and many wars are actually happening. Therefore, the role of such a museum exposing war crimes like this one is more and more vital. Let’s make your trip more meaningful and memorable by visiting the museum. Taking to home the war lessons, the stories to tell to contribute to the process of supporting the war in the worldwide

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    22 Jan 2020
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