Vietnam’s history is rich in courageous wars and revolts against outside invaders ever since the very dawn of the country. To memorize the heroic past and to educate future generations, the Vietnam Military History Museum in Hanoi (Army Museum) was established on July 17th, 1956. Now standing as one of Vietnam’s seven national museums, the Vietnam Military History Museum is an attraction for domestic and foreign tourists alike.
The statue of the War Hero, Phan Dinh Giot, who blocked the enemy’s crenelle with his own body
The Vietnam Military Museum locates on 28A Dien Bien Phu Road, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, opposite the Lenin Park, and is a 15-minute walk away from the Hanoi Old Quarter.
Opening Hours: 8 AM - 11:30 AM and 1 PM - 4:30 PM
The museum is closed on Mondays and Fridays.
Entrance Fee: VND 40,000/person and VND 30,000/camera
The M-48 Tank, the first-generation main battle tank used by America during the Vietnam War
The Vietnam Military History Museum features both indoor and outdoor displays with thousands of artifacts from different eras. The indoor display complex is divided into three 2-story buildings.
The first building:
1st floor: Pre-modern history of Vietnamese wars (before 1930)
This exhibition features a collection of ancient metal-crafts such as axes, swords, and other weapons used to fence off invasions from neighboring countries. There are also quotations and murals attributed to previous Vietnamese emperors presented on the wall.
A collection of ancient Vietnamese metal-crafts (mostly axe blades)
Ancient Vietnamese Crossbow that fires five arrows at once
2nd floor: Artifacts from the First Indochina War and the world-renowned Dien Bien Phu Campaign (1930-1954)
The basic equipment of both the Vietnamese and the French are on display, including pistols, rifles, clothing, water bottles. You can also witness a series of images of prisons and torture tools used by the French.
The transport bicycle (Xe dap tho) used to supply food and weaponry for the Southern Battlefront during the American War
The second building:
1st floor: artifacts from the Resistance War Against America (1954-1975), the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and the Spring Offensive (1975). This period is also known as the Second Indochina War, with detailed information on the “American Imperialists” tactics during the Vietnam War.
2nd floor: This is a weaponry collection of Vietnam Military Forces during the American War. Rifles and other weapons of Vietnam war heroes are exhibited, with stories told in both Vietnamese and English. You can also watch a short documentary about the war.
The third building:
The 1st floor shows military artifacts since 1975, mainly posters and propaganda encouraging people to join hands and rebuild the country after the war.
The 2nd floor honors Vietnamese Heroic Mothers and exhibits the Ho Chi Minh Campaign’s model. Mothers, wives who lost their sons, daughters, husbands are memorized here for their significant contribution to the liberation of the country.
The M101 Howitzer, a piece of artillery weapon used by the Americans in the Vietnam War
The outdoor display shows a collection of war relics, weapons, and detailed stories from veterans who fought in the Indochina Wars. The museum also boasts a gigantic collection of broken machinery and artillery named the "Garden of Broken Toys." They were weapons taken by the Vietnamese, including a B-52 Bomber, a symbol of the American power back then.
The Douglas A-1H Skyraiders, the single-seat medium attack aircraft of the US Air Force
Bombs and bombshells used by the Americans
The famous hexagon Flag Tower of Hanoi is situated on the ground of the museum as well. The tower offers a unique view of the complex and the surroundings.
Hanoi Hexagon Flag Tower from afar
The Vietnam Military History Museum is located in the heart of Hanoi’s city, making it easy to maneuver to other attractions of Vietnam’s Capital. From the museum, you can cross the street to Lenin Park to enjoy the fresh air and greenery, or trek down the road to visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Ba Dinh Square. Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, the Temple of Literature and Thang Long Imperial Citadel are in close proximity as well.
Vietnamese have shown their perseverance and resilience through a war-filled history. Such a heroic past is presented in the form of artifacts, war relics, and stories to be passed down for generations at the Vietnam Military Museum in Hanoi. If you’re a history geek, this destination just can’t be missed.
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© Written by Dung Tran for itourvn.com