Top 6 great museums in Saigon

1 year ago

The interesting history of Saigon is kept alive in several amazing museums throughout Ho Chi MInh City. Whether you are interested in the American War or fine art, include a visit to one or more museums in your city tour itinerary. Bay Hotel will suggest some easy guide about top great museum in this city.

1. Introduce about museum in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City has many museum, also tunnel to visit for tourist. The National History Museum in District 1 is one of the must-see attractions of Ho Chi Minh City. It displays a variety of ancient artifacts and other items, that tell about the history of Indochina.

Most tourists visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, an underground network where the Vietnamese resistance lived and tormented the invaders. A part of the construction has been widened, so even bigger visitors from western countries fit in and move through the webbed tunnels.

Ho Chi MInh City’s Fine Arts Museum is definitely worth a visit. There is a collection of ancient relics, one of the first wooden elevators of Saigon and artworks from the King Generation to the present. Other must-see museums of Saigon include the Ho Chi Minh Museum, located next to the harbor where famous Uncle Ho started his journey that changed Vietnam forever.

Every tourist visiting Vietnam, usually takes  a look at the War Remnants Museum. It shows not only remnants, but also the gruesome torture methods that were applied to prisoners of war. One section of the museum is especially memorable: It depicts the aftermath of Monsanto’s Agent Orange, a devastating chemical used by the Americans against the people of Vietnam during the war. The haunting images of deformed children show one thing clearly: War is hell.

What one destroys, another one has to mend. The FITO Museum in Ho Chi MInh City is dedicated to the history of Vietnamese medicine. Over 3000 items of medical purposes, some dating back to the Stone Age, as well as samples of traditional Vietnamese medicine are displayed here.

The interesting Women’s Museum shows historical fashion and jewelry items. It gives information about Vietnamese culture, the roles and struggle of women throughout history. It also covers the part Vietnamese women played during the revolution. The Ho Chi MInh City Museum shows some archeological evidence, but mainly photographic material that depicts the resistance of Vietnam against the French and Americans.

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2. National History museum

Established in the 1920s as the Musée Louis Finot, the Saigon National History Museum is in a building that typifies Indochinese architecture. One of many museums in Ho Chi Minh City, this site offers a range of artifacts from Vietnam’s long history, and is a great attraction on your sightseeing itinerary. If you are interested in the past of a country steeped in culture, we recommend a visit.

Occupying an area of more than 2,000 square meters, the museum traces the history of the Vietnamese people. Displays are in two parts, the first part being an exhibition of Vietnamese history from its first settlement until 1930, when the Vietnamese Communist Party was established. The second part houses displays of cultural and ethnological significance, including aspects of the ancient Mekong Delta, Cham art and the cultural history of Vietnam’s many ethnic minority groups. Display text is written in Vietnamese, English and French.

Check out displays of stone tools, Roman coins, cannons and items from Vietnam’s ethnic minorities. The National History Museum is housed at the end of Le Duan, close to the tourist strip. The museum as it stands today opened its doors in 1979. When the building was built in 1929 it mainly exhibited ancient Asian art collections until after 1956, when it was renamed the Saigon National Museum. Expanded in 1975, the museum became the haven for Vietnamese history that we see today.

Note that photos are allowed but you must purchase a VND 30,000 camera ticket in conjunction with your VND 15,000 admission ticket. The museum is open daily.

National Historical Museum in Saigon

3. Fine Arts Museum

The Fine Arts Museum of HCMC is set inside an exquisite French colonial villa. The first floor hosts rotating exhibits of contemporary art and the second floor features sketches, paintings and statues, many of which focus on resistance to colonial rulers. The third floor shows older works from Vietnam’s history. Check out the antique working elevator that slowly glides its way up the floors.

The Fine Arts Museum of Saigon is also home to many valuable Cham, Indian and Khmer artifacts that were created between the 7th and 17th centuries. Also on display are works from famous foreign artists and handicrafts created by Vietnam’s ethnic groups. Established in September 1987 by the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, the Fine Arts Museum’s building was once a centre of commerce.

4. Fito Museum

The Fito Museum in Saigon is the first museum of Vietnamese medicine. On display are nearly 3,000 items dating back to the Stone Age. Exhibits include tools used to prepare medicine, knives, mortars and pestles, documents and objects from a traditional pharmacy. The museum regularly screens a documentary about the history of medicine.

When in HCMC check out The Fito Museum. Admire the many documents and books on display that deal with traditional Vietnamese medicine. Browse through the scales, cabinets, printing molds, spirit gourd, tea pot, lime pot and other ceramic pieces. The Fito Museum regularly screens a documentary about the history of Vietnam’s traditional medicine called ‘A Century of Health Care Experiences’.

5. Ho Chi Minh Museum

Once a French shipping company known as Dragon House Wharf, the Ho Chi Minh Museum hosts an eclectic collection of the former leader’s possessions. On display are Uncle Ho’s sandals and radio, among other items. Twenty-one year old Nguyen Tat Thanh, later known as Ho Chi Minh, began his struggle for independence here. The museum is open every day except Monday. It is closed Friday mornings.

Ho Chi Minh Museum is located on Nguyen Tat Thanh Street in Saigon’s District 4, at The Dragon House Wharf. Built in 1863 and originally called Nha Rong, the museum sits at the junction of the Ben Nghe Channel and Saigon River. Thus far over 10 million visitors have enjoyed the pieces on display at the Ho Chi Minh Museum.

Ho Chi Minh Museum in Saigon

6. War Remnants Museum 

HCMC’s War Remnants Museum is not for the faint-hearted as it houses provocative displays of weapons and photographs. Established in 1975, the War Remnants Museum focuses on remnants including U.S. armoured vehicles, a fighter jet, a tank, bombs, infantry weapons and the last guillotine used in Vietnam. Located in Saigon’s District 3, the War Remnants Museum makes for an enlightening if somewhat uncomfortable experience. For more background on recent Vietnamese History, view our Vietnam History page.

Half a million visitors peruse the exhibits of Saigon’s War Remnants Museum each year. Of those, two-thirds are foreigners. Reactions vary among people who tour the museum. Its displays are sure to arouse strong opinions and feelings in everyone, no matter what political ideology one subscribes to. Military equipment includes Huey helicopters, a BLU-82 ‘Daisy Cutter’ bomb and M48 Patton tank. Also on display are pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and harrowing photographs that show the brutality and effects of war.

7. Women’s Museum

Dedicated to Vietnamese women, the Women’s Museum in Saigon has exhibitions covering three floors and focuses on ethnic dress, jewellery and women’s struggles. The museum is well laid out with signs in English and there is a tour showcasing the invaluable contributions of women to the fight for Vietnamese independence. Check out the library and boutique. The Women’s Museum is located on Vo Thi Sau in District 3, HCMC.

The Women’s Museum was established in 1985 as a locus for cultural and educational activities, traditional meetings, scientific talks and cultural exchanges for women. The museum display areas are divided into 10 rooms. Each room illustrates the tradition of national construction and defense of Nam Bo Women. When in Ho Chi Minh City, make sure to check out the Women’s Museum.

>>> Further Information: Top the best rooftop bars in Ho Chi Minh City