Museum of the Vietnamese Revolution

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Museum of the Vietnamese RevolutionLocation Hanoi , Vietnam
Address 216 Ð Tran Quang Khai
Prices adult/student 20,000/10,000d
Opening hours 8am-noon & 1.30-5pm, closed first Mon of the month

Unsurprisingly, Vietnam takes its revolutionary foundations very much to heart. They’re shown off and commemorated in the national Museum of the Vietnamese Museum in downtown Hanoi.

Established in 1959 and apparently only infrequently updated since, the museum is a charming clash of ideas and history. It’s housed in a yellow colonial-style building that once served as the Trade Department Building in the Tong Dan area, just a block from Hanoi’s opera house. Its wide, tiled corridors are right out of 1950s Western government bureaucracy. Glass showcases have everything from weapons and flags used by revolutionaries on the front lines to propaganda posters to the everyday utensils used by Vietnamese peasants. There are statues of Ho Chi Minh the scholar, Ho Chi Minh the statesmen, and various other revolutionary leaders like Tran Phy.

This is very much a museum of artifacts. And many of those artifacts are fascinating. But iIt aims for a much less emotional pitch than the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, and the artifacts don’t fully convey the raw zeal that powered the revolution.