Museums in Hanoi

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Hanoi museums are as diverse and wonderful as the city is itself. You'll find museums that cater to your interests, whether you want to learn a bit about the history and culture of Vietnam or just see some great works of art.

History

Most of the Hanoi museums are dedicated to preserving the history of Vietnam. These 3 museums offer looks into Vietnam's past.

  • History Museum - The Hanoi Museum of History displays artifacts from prehistoric times through to World War II. While some of the artifacts are a marvel in and of themselves, the arrangements leave a lot to be desired. Most of the exhibits are labeled in Vietnamese, but you will find some in English.
  • Museum of the Vietnamese Revolution - From the time of French colonialism to reunification, this museum details Vietnam's move toward independence. Most of the artifacts are made up of print, including letters and newspapers, so don't expect to understand too much.
  • Museum of Military History - In the Citadel is the Army Museum, which includes displays from the start of the uprising against the French to the American War (Vietnam War). Bring a guide with you, as there is very little that you will understand unless you speak Vietnamese.

Art

Vietnam does have some beautiful art, and if you're not keen on buying some at the galleries you can at least see some examples in the art museums.

  • Fine Arts Museum - This museum contains both reproductions and originals of works that range from traditional folk art to modern art. Like the other museums, there's a push to show Vietnam in the best light.

Culture

Culture museums are always interesting. There are several in Hanoi that are worth a visit.

  • Ethnology Museum - The 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam are all represented here via dioramas, models and reconstructions of buildings and practices.
  • Museum of Vietnamese Women - Here you can discover the role of women, mostly within the last century. The museum itself is extremely well done with artifacts labeled and put into proper context.

Regardless of which museums you visit, keep in mind that a strong vein of propaganda flows through all Hanoi museums. Don't feel compelled to "educate" staff or visitors, just enjoy the experience of a new place.

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March 24, 2010 change by tiffanymparker

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