Vietnam History Museum
No. 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh CityTelephone
+84-(08).3829.8146 - +84-(08).3829.0268More information Prices
30,000đ camera ticket in conjunction with your 15,000 đ admission ticket.Opening hours
open daily from 10am to 4pm.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the History Museum is the building in which it is housed, which dates back to 1929 and blends both European colonial and Oriental design features. Though the displays in the 15 rooms cover every period of the country's history, signage is not clear so it's difficult to work out the significance of some exhibits without a guide. Nevertheless, some items speak for themselves, such as the intricately carved Cham sculptures and a collection of Buddha images from across Asia. Other exhibits include ethnic minority costumes, clothing, and household implements from the Nguyen dynasty (1802–1945), and archaeological finds from the area around Saigon. History buffs could easily spend a half day here, but for most casual visitors, an hour or two will do. There's also a small water puppet theater inside the museum that puts on short performances every hour (except 1pm) from 10am to 4pm. It's good to combine a visit here with a stroll through the neighboring Botanical Gardens, though the zoo in the gardens can't be recommended.
The History Museum in Ho Chi Minh City was built in 1929 and was called "Musée Blanchard de la Bosse". Until 1956, it was renamed Saigon National Museum, and finally in 1975, after some renovations, the museum was expanded and became the Ho Chi Minh City History Museum.
The museum’s exhibits are divided according to the following topics:
- Rise of the Hung Kings
- Fight for Independence (1st-10th centuries)
- Ly Dynasty (11th-13th centuries)
- Tran Dynasty (13th-14th centuries)
- Le Dynasty (15th-18th centuries)
- Tay Son Dynasty (18th-19th centuries)
- Nguyen Dynasty (19th-middle of the 20th centuries
Other part of the museum displays specific characteristics of the southern area of Vietnam such as the Oc-Eo culture, the ancient culture of the Mekong Delta, Cham art, the Ben Nghe Saigon art, the Vietnamese ethnic minorities, and ancient pottery of various Asian countries.
Housed in a rambling new concrete, pagodalike structure, the museum presents a clear picture of Vietnamese history, with a focus on the south. There is an excellent selection of Cham sculpture and the best collection of ancient ceramics in Vietnam. Weaponry from the 14th century onward is on display; one yard is nothing but cannons. One wing is dedicated to ethnic minorities of the south, including photographs, costumes, and household implements. Nguyen Dynasty (1700-1945) clothing and housewares are also on display. There are archaeological artifacts from prehistoric Saigon. Its 19thand early-20th-century histories are shown using photos and, curiously, a female corpse unearthed as construction teams broke ground for a recent housing project. There are even some general background explanations in English, something missing from most Vietnamese museums.