Museum of Vietnamese Revolution, Hanoi - review by Rusty Compass
Hanoi | see and do guide

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Museum of Vietnamese Revolution, Hanoi

| 11 Apr 2012
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Museum of Vietnamese Revolution, Hanoi
25 Tong Dan St, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi (there's another entrance on the opposite side)
0800 - 1130 and 1330 - 16.00

Our rating
11 Apr 2012

If you’ve been travelling in Vietnam a while, you’ll recognise the pattern here - a huge collection of photos peppered with some artefacts and documents tracking the history of the country’s revolution from the incipient struggle against French colonialism through to the victory over the US backed South Vietnamese Government in 1975. Don’t expect to understand what you’re looking at. Information is scant. Similar museums exist throughout the country on a smaller scale but this is the mother of them all.

Note: The information provided in this review was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service

The Museum of Vietnamese Revolution will be a worthwhile stop if you’re starting your travels in Hanoi or if you have a particular fascination with museums and Vietnam’s revolutionary history. There are ample more interesting opportunities to engage with the country’s revolutionary war history elsewhere - including reading a good book.

The collection includes images of the country’s most famous revolutionaries and events in revolutionary history. There are also documents from revolutionary leaders, including Ho Chi Minh.

Objects include the guillotine from Hoa Lo (Hanoi Hilton Prison - there’s also one there so perhaps there were two) and an armoured car donated by the Soviet Union for use by Ho Chi Minh.

Make sure you do some of your own reading as well since Vietnam’s museums do a remarkably ordinary job at telling the nation’s story. A more serious effort at adding context to the thousands of photos, documents and artefacts on display could make this a worthwhile experience. It's hard to imagine Uncle Ho and his Comrades being terribly impressed with this lacklustre commemoration of their efforts.

Visitors are scarce and most likely to be foreigners or local school groups with no option.

The museum is located in a colonial era customs building in the French Quarter opposite the Museum of Vietnamese History.

Travel tips
Directly opposite the Vietnamese History Museum.
Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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