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War Remnants Museum
(HCMC/ Saigon)

"Very well done and a great value for the price of admission (15K). You will need about two hours and a package of tissues. Even as someone who has studied history throughout post-secondary I was amazed and learned a lot - particularily about the long lasting affects of the war that still influence people's lives today.
I went after reading reviews that critized it for being propoganda filled and anti-American but a) the propoganda posters and news stories are a part of history that should be displayed and b) I found that the museum did acknowledge the good in some Americans by focusing on the positive acts of certain individuals rather than painting them all as evil.
It can get a little crowded and loud but otherwise the layout is easy to navagate. The attached coffee shop just outside provides the nice atmosphere needed to decompress and think about everything once you're done."


The entrance of the Museum

          The War Remnants Museum - is a war museum in Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon. It contains objects relating the American war, but also in the struggle against the French colonialists. The museum is housed in the former "Information Agency" building of the Americans. In the beginning they wanted to expose the war crimes with the exhibitions, which the French and then the Americans had committed. This was also evident from the name of the museum "Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes". In 1990 the name was even changed to "Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Aggression".
After the normalization of diplomatic relations with the US in 1995 and the end of the US embargo a year earlier, the references "war crimes" and "aggression" were removed from the name of the museum and it became the "War Remnants Museum".


Military equipment

 

The museum consists of a series of themed rooms in different buildings. Historical military equipment can be found in a walled garden. This military equipment includes a helicopter, an F-5A fighter, multiple bombers and a Patton tank.

In one of the buildings you will find a "tiger cage" in which the Vietcong kept their prisoners. These small cages are only 2.7m x 1.5m x 3m each and were sometimes used to keep up to 14 prisoners in.
Other exhibits include photographs, accompanied by a short text in English, Vietnamese and Japanese, showing the effects of Agent Orange and other chemical defoliants. The use of napalm and phosphorus bombs, and war cruelties like the My Lai massacre can be seen on photos.

Among the curiosities, which was donated to the museum include a guillotine used by the French and South Vietnamese to behead prisoners. This happened most recently in 1960.

 

The War Remnants Museum is currently one of the most popular museums in Vietnam. It attracts about half a million visitors each year. According to their own estimates of the museum, are about two-thirds of visitors foreigners. However, the opinions of visitors are "mixed", ranging from "very good" to "You should take it with a grain of salt." Some even goes so far as to claim that the Vietnamese regime imagery used to give a "distorted view of history." This to support their vision of the history of the Vietnam War ..


Inside the Museum

"This visit will never leave my mind. It's a collection of mainly photographs from the war, very well presented and explained. If you don't know much about the Vietnamese war or your only experience of it is the Westernised view then this will be helpful, however don't expect a watered down version at all. Their purpose is so present the facts of the war and how it affected the Vietnamese people.
I had to pull myself away after a couple of rooms and I came back the next day as I found it so hard hitting. I've never seen images like it before. Don't let this deter you though, these images need to be seen so that people can understand the horrific nature of war! Their intent is to inform and promote peace so that horrific events like that won't keep on happening.
This is what a real History lesson looks like!"

 

 

 

 

 


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