Alexandre Yersin Museum

Sights Type / Museums & galleries
  • Alexandre Yersin Museum
  • Alexandre Yersin Museum
  • Alexandre Yersin Museum
  • Alexandre Yersin Museum
  • Alexandre Yersin Museum
Location

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Address

10 Tran Phu street, Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province, Vietnam

Telephone

+84 58 3822 355

Prices

Admission 28,000d

Opening hours

Mon-Fri: 7:30 am - 11:00 am & 2:00 pm - 4.30 pm,
Sat: 8:00 am - 11:00 am

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A small easily visited museum celebrating the life of former Nha Trang resident and leading figure in the scientific fight against the plague, Alexandre Yersin. Yersin was also a leading figure in the development of medical science in Vietnam.

Highly popular in Vietnam, Dr Alexandre Yersin (1863–1943) founded Nha Trang’s Pasteur Institute in 1895. He learned to speak Vietnamese fluently, introduced rubber and quinine-producing trees to Vietnam, and discovered the rat-borne microbe that causes bubonic plague.

At the museum visitors can get an idea of the work of Yersin. On display are his desk, a rich library and his scientific instruments. You can see Yersin’s library and office at this small, interesting museum; displays include laboratory equipment (such as astronomical instruments) and a fascinating 3-D photo viewer.

Tours are conducted in French, English and Vietnamese, and a short film on Yersin’s life is shown.

Yersin travelled throughout the central highlands and recorded his observations. During this period he came upon the site of what is now Dalat and recommended that a hill station be established there.

The museum may not be a totally fitting tribute to Yersin’s life, but if you’re interested in history and one of the most positive characters of the French colonial experience, make sure you pass by. The collection includes pieces from Yersin’s home and his laboratory as well as letters and original photography from his exploration around Vietnam

The museum has been supported by French benefactors. It’s hard to imagine Yersin, who was fluent in Vietnamese, would approve of the primacy accorded to the French language in the museum, even over the Vietnamese language. English captioning is basic.

The museum attendant went out the back and grabbed a collection of original letters, a notebook an address book and photos belonging to Yersin - a real highlight of the visit.

Today, the Pasteur Institute in Nha Trang coordinates vaccination and hygiene programs for the country’s southern coastal region. The institute produces vaccines and carries out medical research and testing to European standards. Physicians at the clinic here offer medical advice to around 70 patients a day.

About Alexandre Yersin

Swiss born, French physician Alexandre Yersin based himself in Nha Trang for nearly fifty years until his death in 1943. He led a prolific life in Vietnam as a leading figure in the global fight against the plague, the founder of the hilltstation town of Dalat, and the founder of Vietnam’s Pasteur Institutes. He was also intimately involved in the development of the medical profession.

Alexandre Yersin, the French medical pioneer, is well remembered in Vietnam, where he was affectionately called Ông Năm. Surprisingly and as a sign of the deep respect the Vietnamese have for him, following the country's independence, streets named in his honour kept their designation, and his tomb in Suoi Dau was graced by a pagoda where rites are performed. His house in Nha Trang is now the Yersin Museum.

He founded Dalat, discovered a vital plague-causing bacterium, and researched agricultural methods and meteorological forecasting, all to the great benefit of the Vietnamese. Yersin arrived in Nha Trang in 1891 and dedicated the rest of his life to scientific discovery from his laboratory here, until his passing away in 1943. He founded the institute in 1895.

Local insight

A visit to the Yersin Museum could be combined with one to the nearby Khanh Hoa Museum.