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Ho Chi Minh City Museum, Saigon

| 15 Nov 2011
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Ho Chi Minh City Museum, Saigon
65 Ly Tu Trong St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Our rating
15 Nov 2011

The grand downtown mansion that was the former French Governor’s Residence and the final residence of assassinated South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, is now the Ho Chi Minh City Museum. The building is imposing - the collection less impressive. The account of Saigon's revolutionary movement is the most interesting.

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More a building with a great story than a great museum. The central location makes it easy to spend time in this historic space - even if you're not inspired by the collection.

This is another museum that has opted for a name change to suit Vietnam's rebranding as a global citizen. It was formerly known as the Museum of the Revolution.

architecture,colonial,French,Ho Chi Minh City,museums,people,Saigon,streets,Vietnam
Photo: Mark BowyerHo Chi Minh City Museum - former residence of Ngo Dinh Diem
Locals are conspicuously absent excepting those using its classic staircase and grand columns for wedding photography. Crowds shouldn’t be a problem.

The exhibits consist of a dull account of the city's recent economic development and a more interesting account of the revolutionary struggle. There are also some uninformative cultural pieces. The grounds feature the usual array of former US military hardware.

The city's colourful but troubled pre 1975 existence is pretty much overlooked except in respect of the revolutionary action that took place during that time.

architecture,colonial,French,Ho Chi Minh City,museums,people,Saigon,streets,Vietnam
Photo: Mark BowyerHo Chi Minh City Museum
The Ho Chi Minh City Museum sits in one of the city's most important French era buildings. Previously the French Governor's residence, the building was also the last home to President Ngo Dinh Diem prior to his assassination in 1963. There is little reference to the building's historic past at the museum.
Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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