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Museums in Vietnam


Army Museum
28A Dien Bien Phu Street, Hanoi
Tel: (04) 3823-4264

This museum presents the Vietnamese side of the country's struggle against colonial powers. There are three buildings of odds and ends from both the French and American wars here, including evocative photos. Most interesting, though, is the actual war equipment on display, including aircraft, tanks, bombs and big guns, some with signs indicating just how many of which enemy the piece took out. There's a tank belonging to the troops that crashed through the Presidential Palace gates on 30 April 1975, Vietnamese Liberation Day. Outside sits a spectacular, room-size bouquet of downed French and US aircraft wreckage. Also on the grounds is Hanoi's ancient flag tower (Cot Co), constructed from 1805 to 1812. The exhibits have English translations, which makes this an easy and worthwhile visit.

Open: Tuesday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday – 8 am to 11:30 am, 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm; admission: charge.

Geological Museum
6 Pho Pham Ngu Lao, Hanoi
Tel: (04) 3826-6802

Located in the Hoan Kiem district and near to the National Museum of Vietnamese History is this curious Geological Museum detailing rocks, fossils and gems found around the country. It is housed in a French-style building within pretty grounds, with descriptions of exhibits written in English. You can actually buy rubies, Vietnam's most common gemstone, at the shop here.

Open: Monday to Saturday – 8 am to 12 pm, 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm; admission: charge.

Ho Chi Minh Museum
19 Ngoc Ha Street, Hanoi
Tel: (04) 3846-3572

This modern and unique museum brilliantly covers the life and times of Ho Chi Minh and is a highly informative attraction. It features two floors of exhibits, with the top floor having the most impressive draw - a grotto representing the inside of Uncle Ho's brain. On the first floor are writings and photographs and all displays are in English and French.

Open: Tuesday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday – 8 am to 11:30 am, 2 pm to 4 pm, Monday and Friday – 8 am to 11:30 am; admission: charge.

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