War Remnants Museum HCMC – 100% Detailed Travel Guide
War Remnants Museum – one of the most popular things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, attracts thousands of tourists to visit every year. If you travel to HCMC, you can not miss this must-do famous Vietnam War Museum, which shows hundreds years of Vietnam history, wars, cultures, and people.
However, it is not easy to explore and understand totally about this large, 3 floors, and 2 garden areas War Remnants Museum. You may look up the War Remnants Museum on TripAdvisor, Wikipedia, Lonely Planet or any kinds of traveling website, but they don’t provide a detailed guide for you to visit it.
In this blog, we will give you the most helpful information that makes your trip to War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City easy, understandable, and time saving.
What is Vietnam War Remnants Museum?
After the Reunification Day (30/04/1975), the ending day of the last wars in Vietnam, the “Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes” was opened in 04/09/1975, to remember the heroes sacrificing in the America – Vietnam War, and to speak up about crimes in the war. In 1990, its name was changed into “Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Aggression’’, and then into the last name “War Remnants Museum”.
Voted to be one of 25 most attracting museums in the Asia, one of the top places to visit recommended on TripAdvisor, War Remnants Museum Ho Chi Minh City receives more than 1 million visits per year, and increasing. If you are tourists coming to HCMC, we are sure this is a place that you can not miss.
Where is War Remnants Museum?
Located in the center of Ho Chi Minh City, War Remnants Museum is now in the address: 28 Vo Van Tan, Ward 6, District 3, HCMC. This location is convenient to visit, because it is not so far from district 1, the area tourists visiting Saigon usually stay.
How to visit the War Museum? You can take a taxi, which takes 5 minutes and around 20.000 VND. Or, because the Museum is so close from the center of Saigon, you can have a walk, which only takes you 15-20 minutes to reach War Remnants Museum.
War Remnants Museum ticket price
How much is War Remnants Museum? Oh, we will tell you this first. If you buy the tickets yourself, NEVER BUY ANY ENTRANCE TICKETS FROM THE OUTSIDE OF WAR MUSEUM, because all of them are trying to scam. There is always ticket selling area inside the War Museum.
In the past, the ticket price for entrance is 2.000 VND/ ticket for Vietnamese, and 15.000 VND/ ticket for international tourists. However, to improve and maintain the museum, since 2018, the price is raised to 40.000 VND/ ticket (applied for both of Vietnamese and foreign tourists). If you have children going with, the ones who are below 6 years old will be free of ticket.
After the payment, you will be given tickets and stickers (which is also the logo of the museum). You should keep the tickets, and then get a sticker for everybody to stick in their shoulder or chest, in case the security guys check your tickets.
War Museum Opening time
You may worry about opening time, which may waste your visit to War Remnants Museum because you come when it is closed. Most of tourists had that problem in the past (the place was about to close every 12:00 AM – 1:30 PM in the day). Understanding that, the Museum opening time is changed. Now it is opened from 7:30 A.M to 6:00 PM every single day (even holidays like Tet – Luna New Year).
Therefore, you can visit the museum in most time of the day. However, if you visit it in the afternoon, you should reach the War Museum before 3:30 PM. Why? Because 2 hours is the usually visiting duration it takes to explore the museum fully. A late visit may cause you to miss some parts of it.
Primary rules when visiting the Museum
These are the rules listed by managements of the War Remnants Museum, which you should follow, or keep your children follow in case of troubles.
– You have to buy tickets at the entrance, with the stickers on
– You can take photos using your phone or camera. However, if you want to record videos or taking photos professionally (using equipment like tripod, camera supporters,…), you need to ask in the reception in the entrance
– If you have any feedbacks, use the feedback notes in the reception and put the notes in which area you feedback (there will be a feedback box in every area)
– No weapons, no easy-to-burn or explode materials, no poisons
– Don’t talk too loud & keep clean inside the museum
Exploring guide for War Remnants Museum
The problem of tourists visiting the museum is that they go anywhere and then only understand a little. So, how are you able to explore this big building in the right way, to understand full what it shows? Below we will show you the constructions & how to go in the Museum.
In overview, the War Museum will be divided into 13 small areas. With 2 primary areas: Inside & Outside
– The Inside: The Museum has 3 floors inside, which show different parts of the wars in Vietnam
– The Outside: There are 2 parts – The War Remnants Objects (Planes & Tanks), and the Tiger Cage (a model of American prison in Vietnam war)
Now, let’s start! We will show you step by step how to explore fully the museum, which part should you go first, and which is for later.
Step 1 – From the entrance, go straight up to 3rd floor, visit room “HISTORIC TRUTH’’
This room will sum up the Vietnam wars since the first attack of France to Da Nang, through the war with the American, and till the end of the war in the Reunification Day – 30/04/1975.
After entering the room, you will start from the left side. Here, you will catch the image of Ho Chi Minh reading the Independence Proclamation in 1945, after winning the French for the first time. Right below the picture is the Vietnam Independence Proclamation book. However, as we told you in the “What is Vietnam War Remnants Museum”, the Museum name was about the war between Vietnam and America, so the stories in War Remnants Museum HCMC will be shown just in a few pictures.
The pictures right after the French war ones will lead you to the most famous war in Vietnam – the American War. These photos will show you a sum-up storyline of the war with America, and how they invested in Vietnam War compared to other wars.
Why start from “HISTORIC TRUTH” room, on the top floor? Because this is the room where War Remnants Museum will tell you the whole wars with Western countries in about 50 photos, which helps you understand more about them before visiting the next rooms – which tells you about details.
Step 2 – Visit the next door room “REQUIEM – THE PHOTO COLLECTION OF THE U.S. AGGRESSIVE WAR IN VIETNAM”
Entering this room, you will start from the left side as the previous room. Unlike “HISTORIC TRUTH”, in this room the War Remnants Museum does not show you wars in timeline, but photos in different topics. These photos were taken by both Vietnamese & American journalists, most of whom sacrificed in the war to let the world know about it! Let’s start from the first one!
- Topic 1: A Distant War
In these topic, you will read about the introduction for the photos, then they will show you virtually about the reason why the America – Vietnam war happened, why the American came from a half of the Earth to join the war in Vietnam.
- Topic 2: Escalation
Photos in this topic will show you how the both sides prepared before, and during the war, including both civilian activities & army activities.
- Topic 3: The Quagmire
This is one of the writer’s most favorite parts in War Remnants Museum HCMC. The photos in this topic show about the hardness, difficulties, friendships, teammate relationships,… for both side in the war. Why is this topic good? Because this seems to be the most not-biased contents, while many tourists coming to the War Museum consider most of the contents here biased.
Is it? Keep reading! We will let you know our thinking & review after the museum-how-to-go part!
- Topic 4: Destruction War in the North Vietnam
In case you don’t know, the “American – Vietnam war” was actually not the war between the whole Vietnam and the American. It was a civil war, between the north & south of Vietnam, and the American supported the south. That is why in topic 4, the photos will show you about the destructions American causes when bombing the north of Vietnam.
- Topic 5: Final Days
The topic show photos about the end of the Vietnam War, after the memorable Unification Day in April 30, 1975, when the two famous tanks destroyed the gate of Independence Palace (in district 3 nowadays, near the War Remnants Museum).
- Topic 6: People in the war
Leaving the soldiers behind, this topic is about Vietnamese civilian in the war.
- Topic 7: The War Vestige
The topic leaves us what was left right after the war, its consequences, its pain, and sadness.
- Topic 8: Vietnam War Terminated
The last topic is about the life of people, both Vietnamese & American, after the war.
That is the guide for top floor of War Remnants Museum, which helps you to understand the overview of Vietnam wars, and prepare you to the below floor – THE WAR CRIMES
* CAUTION: THE CONTENT IN THIS FLOOR IS CRUEL & VIOLENT, PREPARE YOURSELF BEFORE READING!
Step 3: Walking downstairs & go into ”AGGRESSIVE WAR CRIMES” room
This room will lead you to a totally different experience. In “Aggressive War Crimes”, you will also start from left side to right. There are a lot of photos, however, they focus on 3 topics:
– Vietnamese innocent farmers were tortured to get information
– The highlight: My Lai Massacre, where American soldiers killed more than 500 innocent people, including children, pregnant women, elderly people,…
– The bombing in Vietnam
Step 4: Go to the next door room “AGENT ORANGE AFTERMATH – IN US AGGRESSIVE WAR IN VIETNAM”
After visiting the “AGGRESSIVE WAR CRIMES’’ room, you must think that is the worst thing that ever happened in this world, but it’s not. THERE IS SOMETHING EVEN WORSE! And that thing is in this room – “Agent Orange”.
Killing people by bombing is a big crime. But this “Agent Orange” did not only killed people, it also made their future generations disabled, born without mental heath, or born without legs or arms. Nowadays in Vietnam, there are still many children affected by “Agent Orange”, losing their childhood or even their whole life.
However, these affected people still fight! And they achieve a lot of achievements. Visiting the “War Remnants Museum” will show you all stories about this crime.
Step 5: Come downstairs for ground floor – inside the building
Ahhhh… You must be very emotional after visiting the two upstairs floors, aren’t you? Now you understand why in this guide we tell you to start from the top floor! After very rain it shines. This ground floor doesn’t show pain, cruelness, death,… anymore. It is a more positive views with photos of how Vietnamese people have risen after the wars.
Step 6: Going outside of the building, and join the “TIGER CAGE”
*WARNING: THE TIGER CAGE IS NOT FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE HEART PROBLEMS!
So, after 5 steps following our guide, you finished the Inside Part of the War Remnants Museum Ho Chi Minh City. Now let’s start with the Outside, beginning with the TIGER CAGE – the model of special cells in Con Dao Jail.
Inside this area, you will see the very, very evil crimes and what they did to prisoners in the war!
Step 7: Go outside of the Tiger Cage & enjoy the war tanks – planes
And, the Tiger Cage is the end of the painful war. Now it’s time to take photos, have a selfie and enjoy the peace together!
So, thank you for reading till these words. It also means you have read all of the information you need to visit the War Remnants Museum! It is the end of our Detailed Guide to the War Museum HCMC!
OH WAIT! ONE MORE THING!
After reading everything in this post, each of you must have different image of the War Remnants Museum, and different thinking, different emotion as well. And that’s why you must be questioning ”SHOULD I VISIT THE WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM?”
We will tell you in our honest review:
First, let’s take a look at TripAdvisor Reviews about War Remnants Museum HCMC. You can easily see the the negative reviews, which only accounts for 2% of total reviews (however, it may have impact on your decision to visit the museum), like these:
To sum up, the most topics that negative reviews on TripAdvisor discussed, are Propaganda (biased, one-side news) and Content not suitable for many people.
For the first topic: Propaganda
Considering the way War Remnants Museum shows its contents, this topic is true! Most of the photos in the museum show how evil the American were in the war. We all know that there are good & bad, love & hate,… in the wars. Therefore, this is a subtract point of the War Museum. Hope that it will add some more positive contents soon one day!
For the second topic: Not suitable content
Most of the people with children visiting the museum will ask “IS THE WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM SUITABLE FOR KIDS?” There are 2 opinions: Yes & No.
With people who say NO. Most of them think so because of the contents in War Museum, which is so aggressive, cruel, negative, so that they will have a negative impact on the kids.
With people who say YES. Their point is it’s fine for kids to see the photos, because sooner or later they will know and see it one day in the future. They just need to explain the photos to the kids.
None of the above opinions are wrong, because it depends on what each of us think. That’s why our final answer is ‘‘YES, YOU SHOULD GO TO THE WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM, EVEN WITH THE KIDS”. How about the negativity mentioned above? What is the solution to that?
If your opinion is the contents in the War Museum will spoil the kids, we propose the solution that you can take the kids to the Airplanes & Tanks area, which they will definitely enjoy a lot. Then you keep them away from floor 2 & 3, which contains cruel photos.
Moreover, War Remnants Museum is listed top #2 Things to do on TripAdvisor, which means that it must be special enough to be so.
You want to visit the War Remnants Museum with more stories that the photos in the Museum are not enough to tell you? You want to visit historic places in Ho Chi Minh City, not only touristy, but also UNSEEN PLACES that you can never find on Google? Join our HISTORICAL CITY TOUR AT:
Oh, sorry about the advertising, there is one more question that most of you will ask: “NOWADAYS, DO VIETNAMESE HATE AMERICAN TOURISTS?”
No, not at all! Many people, especially American tourists, think that Vietnamese will look at them with a negative eye. But no, we don’t care about the past anymore. The war with America is something that Vietnamese will never forget, but will definitely forgive. The most clear evidences for this, is that when American people travel in Vietnam, they are always welcomed by Vietnamese, who don’t know English but always try to say “Helloooooooooooooo” as a welcome to Vietnam!