Museum of Vietnamese History in Ho Chi Minh City


The courtyard of the Vietnamese History Museum.

The Vietnamese History Museum is housed in a building sited in the large park and zoo located at the end of Le Duan Street. The galleries are all on a single floor, although the levels change some between one hall and another through the circular plan.

Each gallery focuses on a different era of Vietnamese history, starting with the stone age and proceeding up through the French colonial period as you move clockwise through the building. Of particular interest are some sandstone sculptures from the seventh and eighth centuries, Roman coins from the second century and a collection of cannons from Hue in the nineteenth century.

The museum of hosts special exhibits. Through most of 2006, the rotunda hosts a collection of wooden imperial furniture. There’s also a small water puppet theater that puts on short shows, but nothing like the national water puppets theater in Hanoi.


The Pearl of the Orient, Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam and is its economic and cultural capital. The city boasts of many picturesque pagodas and impressive official buildings of the colonial era. That the city takes pride in its culture and history is conveyed by the numerous museums that dot every corner in this city. Out of these innumerable museums, one that stands out is the History Museum of Ho Chi Min City.

The History Museum of Ho Chi Minh City is also known as the Museum of Vietnamese History. It was built in 1929 and was originally called the Blanchard de la Brosse Museum. In the span of years between 1929 and 1956 it mainly exhibited ancient art collections of a few Asian countries. The Museum was renamed Saigon National Museum after 1956 and was called so till 1975. Post 1975 the museum was expanded and has been called the Museum of Vietnamese History since then. The museum exhibits its collection in two parts:-

Part One exhibits the history of Vietnam from the times when the area was first settled (about 300,000 years ago) to 1930 – i.e. when the Vietnamese Communist Party was born. This part consists of the following halls:

– The primitive period in Vietnam

– The founding of King Hung’s Dynasty

– The periods of struggle to gain independence (Centuries I – X)

Ly Dynasty (Centuries XI – XIII)

– Tran Dynasty (Centuries XIII – XIV)

Le Dynasty (Centuries XV – XVII)

– Tay Son Dynasty (Centuries XVIII – early XIX)

– Nguyen Dynasty (Centuries XIX – mid XX).

Part Two: Displays showcase various themes like that of historical characteristics of southern Vietnam such as Oc Eo culture, ancient culture of the Mekong Delta, Cham art, Ben Nghe – Saigon, ethnic minority groups in Vietnam etc. Ancient pottery of a few Asian countries is also housed in this area. The museums also stores a number of important relics in a separate storage are.


Built in a classic pagoda style, this very attractive museum, also known as Bao Tang Lich Su in Vietnamese, contains a vast collection of artifacts, spanning almost the entire history of Vietnam. Relics from the beginning of the nation’s cultural evolution can be seen in the form of prehistoric implements and tools.

These are followed by bronze artifacts from the Hung Kings era. Stand out exhibits include bronze drums belonging to the Dong Son civilization, and tokens from the Oc Eo culture, including the 2nd century AD Roman coin.

Farther on are remnants belonging to the Nguyen Dynasty, with a rich collection of garments and jewelry. Also on display are numerous Cham and Khmer relics, such as a stone lingam and ceramics. A prominent exhibit is that of a mummy dating back to 1869. Somewhat out of place, although interesting, is the daily scheduled water puppet show. The museum is set on the expansive and scenic grounds of the Botanical Gardens and Zoo, which provide ad ideal setting for a relaxing meander.

Source: information

Address: 02 Nguyen Binh Khiem St., District 1, HCMC

Phone: 8298146 – 8290268

Fax: 8258784

The Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 8:00 to 11:00 and 13:30 to 16:30.

Admission is 15,000 Dong (0.75 USD).

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