Vietnam National Museum of History
add 1: 1 Trang Tien Street, Hanoi, Vietnam
add 2: 216 Tran Quang Khai Street, Hanoi, Vietnam
+84-4-3824 1384 or +84-4-3825 7753More information Prices
the ticket fare 20,000đ and more for camerasOpening hours
opens everyday (except the first Monday of every month). morning: 8am to 12am. afternoon: 13:30pm to 5:00 pm
Hanoi's history of over 1000 years is complex, but many visitors ignore it altogether. Yet that is a shame, for the story that unfolds in this well laid-out museum is one of epic proportions. The building in which it is housed is a striking blend of European and Oriental design that originally functioned as L'Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient, and the rooms that recount the various stages of the city's history are well marked. The ground floor includes funerary jars, Dong Son drums, and excavations of Han tombs, and leads up to 1400. Upstairs the story continues with artifacts from the Ly and Tran dynasties, as well as ceramics from the Nguyen dynasty.
Vietnam’s best account of its thousands of years of history is set in one of Hanoi’s finest buildings. A refreshing break from war and propaganda it focuses on Vietnam’s pre 20th century story. The limited English language descriptions and a lack of contextual information are a big letdown.
Housed in one of Vietnam's most spectacular pieces of French era architecture, the National Museum of Vietnamese History is home to the finest collection of artefacts from Vietnam's ancient and more recent history. If Hanoi's other museums have overwhelmed you with propaganda and war, this museum will come as a welcome relief both with its delightful setting and its superb collection. Concentrating on Vietnam's pre - twentieth century evolution, the presentation is refreshingly contemporary although exhibits lack context and detailed information in English.
Museum highlights include a collection of Dong Son drums, artefacts from central Vietnam's Cham kingdom as well as costumes and other pieces from Vietnam's last royal dynasty, the Nguyen Dynasty.
The Bronze Age Dong Son civilisation flourished around Thanh Hoa province not far from Hanoi for 1000 years from around 1200BC and their stunning drums depict life and nature of the time using advanced casting techniques. The Dong Son drum is frequently used as a contemporary symbol of Vietnamese culture and civilisation.
The Cham kingdom existed across central and southern Vietnam until its last territories were annexed by the Vietnamese at the beginning of the 19th century. The ethnically Malay Polynesian Chams created a vast kingdom rich in culture. The Museum of Vietnamese History contains a good collection of Cham artefacts. Remarkably, a good many of these are outside in the elements in what appears to be a car park for the city's well connected.
The museum also houses pieces from Vietnam's royal dynasties - the most extensive being from the final Nguyen Dynasty which ended in 1945.
The Museum's collection is impressive but a good guide is essential if you want to make full sense of it since the English language descriptions are disappointingly limited.
How to get there?
There are 3 bus ways to get to the museum, they are buses number 2, 3 and 4 with bus-stops close to the museum.
- Buses number 2: Bac Co – Ba La: stop at bus-stops on Tran Khanh Du street or Trang Tien street. It’s about 5 minutes walk from the bus-stops to the museum.
- Buses number 3: Giap Bat – Gia Lam Bus-stops: stop at the end of Phan Chu Trinh street 50km from the museum (with buses start at Giap Bat bus-stop) or stop at Trang Tien bus-stop near the museum’s gate (with buses start at Gia Lam bus-stop).
- Buses number 4: Long Bien – Linh Nam: stop at bus-stop in Le Thanh Tong street (with buses start at Long Bien) 100m from the museum or stop at bus-stop in Phan Chu Trinh street (with buses start at Linh Nam).