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Ha Noi


Army Museum
Ho Chi Minh Museum
Revolution Museum
Women's Museum
Fine Arts Museum
Museum of Ethnology
History Museum

The Army Museum:
Tuesday to Sunday from 8.00 to 11.00 am & 1.30 to 4.30 pm
The Vietnam Army Museum is located on Dien Bien Phu Street in Hanoi. It was formerly the French expeditionary barracks and covers 10,000 m2 divided into 30 showrooms. It opened in December 1959. The Vietnam Army Museum contains objects and documents related to the establishment and development of the Vietnamese armed forces.
There are many artifacts demonstrating the tradition of fighting against foreign aggressors in previous eras. The museum also has many displays depicting the development of the Vietnamese armed forces.

The evolution of the Vietnamese National Army and the Vietnamese People’s Army (1946-1954) is displayed with weapons, maps, and objects of the Dien Bien Phu Campaign.
The fighting period against the United States army, which ended in 1975, is also represented through maps, models of the Ho Chi Minh Campaign, plus artifacts that belonged to heroic Vietnamese soldiers.
Several large and impressive artifacts, such as heavy weapons retrieved from enemy forces and shards of US planes, are also exhibited.

The Ho Chi Minh Museum:
Open: Daily from 8.00 to 11.00 am & 1.30 to 4.30 pm
This museum is located near the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. It was completed on May 19, 1990, on the occasion of President Ho Chi Minh's birthday.
The museum is housed in a 4-storey building covering a total area of 10,000 m2. The museum is designed in the shape of a lotus flower, as a symbol of President Ho’s noble character.
The main showroom displays more than 2,000 documents, articles, pictures, and exhibits illustrating not only historical events that took place in president Ho Chi Minh’s life, but also important events that occurred in the rest of the world since the end of the 19th century.
The museum also contains other rooms such as a library, a large hall, meeting rooms, and research rooms.
Since its opening, the museum has welcomed millions of local and international visitors.

The Revolution Museum:
Open: Monday to Sunday from 8.00 to 11.30 am & 1.30 to 4.00 pm
Established in August 1959, the Revolution Museum is a two-storey building, formerly used by the Trade Department. It has been renovated and redesigned into 30 showrooms, containing more than 40,000 historical exhibits.
The first room presents Vietnam and the Vietnamese. The exposition continues with exhibits divided into the following topics:
· National liberation movements of the Vietnamese against French troops before the Vietnamese 
  Communist Party was established (1858-1930)
· National independent struggle of the Vietnamese under the leadership of the Communist Party (1930-1975)
· Construction and defense of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (1976-1994)

The Women's Museum:
Open: Daily except Monday from 8.00 to 4.00 pm
The Vietnam Women's Museum, the largest historical, cultural and artistic venue for Vietnamese women, was inaugurated on the 65th anniversary of the Vietnam Women's Union, on October 20, 1995. The museum is a recognition of the great contributions and sacrifices to national defence and construction made by Vietnamese women. The museum includes four major display areas which introduce the "Vietnamese Mother" in the national community, Vietnamese women in national defence and construction, the foundation and development of the Vietnam Women's Union, and the beautiful costumes worn by women from many ethnic groups.
The first partition is reserved for the 3.6 meters high Mother of Vietnam statue inlaid with gold and made by sculptor Phu Cuong. The Mother is healthy and full of energy, yet honest and gentle. Her right hand is open wide representing that she can overcome all trials and hardships; her left hand holds a child rising above her. Over top the statue is a set of bright lamps representing mother's milk, an endless source of life that feeds every generation. The statue is a symbol of the Vietnamese women's strength, beauty and aspiration for life.
Visitors are then introduced to the valuable historical traditions of the Vietnamese women. The most glorified is the defence and building of the homeland traditions of the Vietnamese women. "When the enemy comes, even the women fight" is the spirit shared by all Vietnamese women. In the spring of 40AD, the two Trung Sisters raised their flag against the invaders. Their victory is reflected in the bas-relief "The victorious Trung Sisters return home". Above the bas-relief is a bright torch, the token of the eternally bright patriotic spirit.
On display are many relics relating to achievements made by staunch Vietnamese heroines throughout different periods of time. Most outstanding are Nguyen Thi Minh Khal, Mac Thi Buoi, Vo Thi Sau, Nguyen Thi Dinh, Ngo Thi Tuyen , Nguyen Thi Binh, Vo Thi Thang, and more. Visitors are very impressed with the photo showing southern women standing in deep water to make a human chain to transport war wounded soldiers or the block of statues of the ten women who died at the Dong Loc-Ha Tinh intersection in central Vietnam while repairing the road destroyed by US bombs.
The photo "Mother's Children" spells out the grief and sacrifice of the mothers. Together with the mother is the list of her dying children and their remaining things: the sack, a notebook, and some gifts for the mother made by her sons. In various fields and occupations, from agriculture, industry, and handicrafts to education, healthcare, culture, arts, scientific research, and more, women have been great contributors. Photos of excellent women and groups of women, and the achievements and products made by women are on display. They reflect the long-standing tradition of the industriousness and optimism of Vietnamese women.
Women always represent beauty as they are the creators of beauty. Appropriate space in the museum is reserved for the display of women's costumes worn by the 54 Vietnamese nationalities. The costumes are unique in their characteristics, rich and diverse in model and colour and sophisticated in design. The collection reflects not only the ability of the creator but also the cultural lifestyle and sensitive aesthetic soul of women throughout time.
Firmly preserving women's traditions and highlighting the role of Vietnamese women is attributed to the efforts of the Vietnam Women's Union. Founded 65 years ago, the Union's activities have been closely attached to national revolutionary tasks in general and to women in particular, and to helping the Vietnamese women's movement integrate into the world women's movement. The photos and items on display vividly prove the union's role in bringing women into full play and affirming the position of women.
Shortly after opening, hundreds of delegations from abroad and throughout the country visited the museum as a manifestation of warm feelings and respect for the Vietnamese women who have marked a worthy profile for many centuries in the Vietnamese history of building and defending the country .

The Fine Arts Museum:
Open: Tuesday to Sunday from 8.00 to 11.30 am & 1.30 to 4.30 pm
In June 1966, house No 66 on Nguyen Thai Hoc street in Ba Dinh district, Hanoi, was transformed into the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum. Approximately 10,000 works, objects, restored articles, reproductions, pictures, and paintings are displayed in 16 showrooms according to the following divisions:
· Ethnic minorities
· Primitive eras: Neolithic Age, Bronze Age, and Paleolithic Age
· Feudalism: 11th to 18th centuries
· Ancient sculpture: outstanding works from the 11th to 19th centuries
· Folk paintings
· Technologic fine arts
· Fine arts before the August 1945 Revolution
· Resistance against French troops (1940-1954)
· From 1954 to now

In addition, there are numerous collections of specific fine-art exhibitions such as ancient stone sculptures, fine arts from the Bronze Age, antique pottery, ethnic minority paintings, and lacquer paintings. The Vietnam Fine Arts Museum is a lively historical treasure depicting the origins and evolution of Vietnamese fine arts.

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology:
Tuesday to Sunday from 8.30 to 12.30 am & 1.30 to 4.30 pm
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a convergence of cultures and a scientific ethnological center. It has actively contributed to the conservation and development of the national culture, as well as the cultural traditions and identities of the Vietnamese nationalities.
The museum is located on Nguyen Van Thuyen Street (named after a famous national ethnologist), in Cau Giay District, about 7-8 km from downtown Hanoi. It covers an area of nearly 3.3 hectares. Ha Duc Linh, an architect of the Tay ethnic group, designed the museum in the form of the ancient drum of the Dong Son Culture, and interior decorations were designed by French architect, Veronique Dollfus.
Being part of the National Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is involved in various undertakings. It carries out scientific research on Vietnamese nationalities, collects, classifies, assesses, preserves, restores, exhibits, introduces and exploits the cultural and historical values of all the nationalities. It also provides ethnological references and trains staff in the specific fields of the ethnographic museum. The Museum also attaches attention to the cultures of other countries in Southeast Asia, seeing them as potential targets for exhibitions at the museum in the near future.
Since its foundation, the Museum has preserved rich and diverse showpieces and documentary references. At present, more than 15,000 objects, about 40,000 photographs and many audio-visual tapes, of which many collections are of highly cultural value, are exhibited and preserved by the Museum.
At present, the museum comprises two main quarters: the inside and outside display.
Most of the space of the 2-storey building is reserved for long-term and regular display of objects and documents about the cultural characteristics and the out-look of the Vietnamese communities. The showpieces are displayed according to geographical locations and languages, into nine groups which closely link to one another.

They are:
1. General introduction;
2. The Viet (Kinh) - Vietnam's majority group.
3. The Viet-Muong (Muong, Tho and Chut);
4. The Thai-Kadai, including 8 groups of the Tay-Thai (Tay, Thai, Nung, San Chay, Giay, Bo Y, Lao, and Lu) and 4 groups of the Kadai (La Chi, Co Lao, Pu Peo, La Ha).
5. The H'mong-Dao (H'mong, Dao, Pa Then), the Tibeto-Burmese (Lo Lo, Ha Nhi, La Hu, Phu La, Si La and Cong), and the Sino-Tibetan (San Diu and Ngai);
6. The Mon-Khmers of the North (Khmu, Khang, Mang, Odu and Sinh Mun) and of the Truong Son Range and the Central Highlands (Ba-na, Brau, Bru-Van Kieu, Choro, Co, Co Ho, Co Tu, Gie-trieng, Hre, Ma, Mnong, Ro Mam, Ta Oi, Se Dang and Stieng).
7. The Austronesians of the mountainous regions (Chu Ru, Ede, Gia Rai, Raglai);
8. The Cham, Khmer and Hoa.
9. Inter-changes among different groups, expressed through highland markets.
In these 9 compartments, about 650 objects are displayed in 100 showcases, large and small, with captions about the name, the place and producer of the object. There are 33 panels with more than 50 articles and nearly 300 photographs introducing the groups' cultural characteristics. In addition, there are showcases about some other unique cultural identity or custom, such as non (palm-leaf conical hat) making in Chuong Village, funeral rituals of the Muong, buffalo-stabbing ceremony of the Ba-na, then (praying heaven for luck), etc. which are illustrated by video films.
Inside the museum, there are short-term exhibitions. For instance, the "Cultural Resemblance" (through the folk decorative art of the Tay-Thai and Austronesians), opened on the occasion of the 6th ASEAN Summit held in Hanoi in December 1998; the "Children's Mid-Autumn Festival - In the Past and At Present", opened at the Mid-Autumn Festival of 1999.
The outside quarter of the display will be completed one section at a time. Traditional architectures typical of each location nationwide are imitated at the museum. They include the burial ground of the Gia-rai, the houses built with po-mu timber of the H'mong, the stilt-house of the Tay, the mixed stilt-and-ground house of the Dao, the traditionally-shaped house of the Viet, the long stilt-house of the matriarchal E-de, the no-wall house of the Ha Nhi, the long house of the Ba-na, etc. At each example, there are captions about the material, tools and techniques with which the original ethnic builders were invited by the museum to build the house. The ethnic builders also participated in introducing information about their products and the cultural traditions of their group. Each house looks like a mini-museum. Through the interior decoration and illustrated information, the visitors can understand the life of each ethnic group.
In both inside and outside quarters, the showpieces are displayed and preserved in their original appearance. The explanations are in Vietnamese, English and French, that is very convenient for visitors.
Among diverse presentations to the public, folk art performances and on-the-spot making of the traditional handicraft articles attract a great number of visitors. In September, the performance "Singing Cheo operetta" organized by the Viet people in Tan Hoi Village, Dan Phuong District, Ha Tay Province, will open for a series of shows at the Museum.
Besides exhibiting, the Museum compiled books, such as a catalogue about the Museum published in 1997, Pictures of Vietnamese Nationalities (1997), The Great Family of Vietnamese Nationalities (1998), Ancient Designs of Dac Lac (1999), Research Projects by the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Volume 1 (1999), to name but a few.

The History Museum:
Open: Friday to Wednesday from 8.00 to 11.45 am & 1.30 to 5.00 pm
Vietnam History Museum is located near the Municipal Theater and Hoan Kiem Lake in downtown Hanoi. The museum preserves a large number of valuable artifacts from various historical periods.
The exhibits are clearly displayed on two floors covering an area of more than 2,000 m2. The first section contains relics from prehistoric times discovered at different sites throughout the country. These items date back mainly from the Paleolithic and the Neolithic Ages.
Over the past 40-plus years the Museum has served as one of the important cultural and historical arms of the Ministry of Culture and Information. Through tens of thousands of selected showpieces, which are displayed in a chronological order, from ancient to modern time, it systematically introduces the visitors to the history of national construction and defence of the Vietnamese people. The space for display is divided into tens parts.
The 1st part displays relics from ancient times to the bronze age, prior to the period of national construction. Among the relics are human teeth, fossil animals, and stone tools and weapons, such as axes and knives, which were found in Do mountain in Thanh Hoa Province and in Tham Hai cave in Lang Son Province. These relics date from 30-40 thousand years ago, proving that Vietnam is one of the cradles of early humans.
The 2nd part introduces the initial period of national construction and defence. On display are many rare and precious exhibits, with the most typical being the Bronze Drums of Ngoc Lu, Hoang Ha, Mieu Mon and Co Loa, which are called Dong Son Drums. These drums, considered the most beautiful and ancient (according to He-go classification), were found in greater numbers than in other Asian countries.
The 3rd part introduces the first ten centuries B.C (from the 1st to the 10th century). Apart from the showpieces, which reflect the Vietnamese people's struggle for independence and self-control against the northern forces' plot of assimilation and enslavement, there are collections of ceramic, porcelain and woven cloth articles, which proves that the Vietnamese people had acquired the quintessence of other cultures to enrich their own culture.
The 4th part introduces the process of building an independent feudal system in the Dinh (968-980) and anterior Le (980-1009) dynasties. Typical showpieces include vestiges of the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, old cultural stele and majestic art works.
The 5th part introduces the Ly-Tran dynasties (1010-1400). This is a flourishing time of the civilization of the Great Viet, and the renaissance of the nation after more than one thousand years of struggle against the domination of the northern invaders. The exhibits reflect some great battles against the Song and Yuan aggressors.
The 6th and 7th parts introduce the Le - Mac dynasty (1427-1788), a long period of feudal history. Through the relics and vestiges of the ancient capital of Lam Kinh in Thanh Hoa Province, such as seals, stamps, stele, selections of ceramic wares and festival costumes, visitors can see the military, socio-economic and cultural achievements of the Vietnamese people.
The 8th part introduces the Tay Son period (1778-1802), especially national hero Quang Trung - Nguyen Hue, who was the most outstanding leader of the insurrection by Tay Son peasants. The movement of supporting the Le dynasty and opposing the Trinh dynasty, and the insurrection which wiped out the Qing enemy in 1789, leading to national liberation, are also introduced.
The 9th part introduces the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945), the last Vietnamese feudal regime. There are a lot of exhibits on the Nguyen kings and achievements in the fields of law, literature and history, which were influenced by the Occidental culture.
The last part introduces the anti-French movement and the August Revolution in 1945. On display are photographs of patriotic scholars, such as Phan Dinh Phung, Hoang Hoa Tham and Nguyen Huu Huan. Worthy of note are the photographs and showpieces, which reflect the cause of Nguyen Ai Quoc (President Ho Chi Minh) for national salvation and a new state. Among them is a photo of Ba Dinh Square on September 2nd, 1945, where President Ho Chi Minh read the Independence Declaration, bringing about the birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
In addition, the Museum of History presents 50 stone-engraved specimens including statues and bas-reliefs to introduce the art and culture of the Cham Pa ethnic group from the 7th to the 13th centuries. The art and cultures of several Asian countries including China, Japan and Thailand are also introduced.
The Vietnam Museum of History is a worthy national museum and a centre for the introduction and research of the history of Vietnam. Each year it receives tens of thousands of visitors, domestic and foreign.

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