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War Remnants Museum (Nha Trung Bay Toi Ac Chien Tranh) | Asia Travel Legend,Asia Travel,Asia Tours,Vietnam Tours,Laos Tours,Cambodia Tours,Thailand Tours

War Remnants Museum (Nha Trung Bay Toi Ac Chien Tranh)

War Remnants Museum (Vietnamese: Bảo tàng chứng tích chiến tranh)

is a war museum at 28 Vo Van Tan, in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam.

It primarily contains exhibits relating to the American phase of the

Vietnam War.

History

Operated by the Vietnamese government, an incipient form of museum opened on September 4, 1975, as the "Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes" (Vietnamese: Nhà trưng bày tội ác Mỹ-ngụy), located in the premises of the former United States Information Agency building. The exhibition was not the first of its kind for the North Vietnamese side, but rather followed a tradition of such exhibitions exposing "war crimes", first those of the French and then those of the Americans, who had operated at various locations of the country as early as 1954.
In 1990, the name changed to Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Aggression (Nhà trưng bày tội ác chiến tranh xâm lược), dropping both "U.S." and "Puppet." In 1995, following the normalization of diplomatic relations with the United States and end of the US embargo from a year before, the references to "war crimes" and "aggression" were dropped from the museum's title as well; it became the "War Remnants Museum" (Bảo tàng Chứng tích chiến tranh).

Exhibits

The museum comprises a series of themed rooms in several buildings, with period military equipment placed within a walled yard. The military equipment includes a UH-1 "Huey" helicopter, an F-5A fighter, a BLU-82 "Daisy Cutter" bomb, M48 Patton tank, an A-1 Skyraider attack bomber, and an A-37 Dragonfly attack bomber. There are a number of pieces of unexploded ordnance stored in the corner of the yard, seemingly with their charges and/or fuses removed.

One building reproduces the "tiger cages" in which the South Vietnamese government allegedly kept political prisoners. Other exhibits include graphic photography, accompanied by a short text in English, Vietnamese and Japanese, covering the effects of Agent Orange and other chemical defoliant sprays, the use of napalm and phosphorus bombs, and "American war atrocities" such as the My Lai massacre. The photographic display includes work by Vietnam War photojournalist Bunyo Ishikawa that he donated to the museum in 1998. Curiosities include a guillotine used by the French and the South Vietnamese to execute prisoners, the last time being in 1960, and three jars of preserved human fetuses allegedly deformed by exposure to dioxin, contained in the defoliant Agent Orange.

According to travel reports from foreign visitors, the exhibits are "blatantly one-sided" with a "a heavy dose of anti-American (and South Vietnamese) propaganda", "full of propaganda"and "need to be taken with a grain of salt", but "they do graphically portray the horrors of [the Vietnam War]. US anthropologist Christina Schwenkel wrote in a 2009 book that while the description "war crimes" has been dropped from the official text, the museum still exhibits pictures that are considered controversial and perhaps unrepresentative like that of a "smiling U.S. soldier proudly displaying a VC head as a war trophy" accompanied by a caption that is still hinting at a criminal element, in this case: "after decapitating some guerillas, a GI enjoyed being photographed with their heads in his hands". Schwenkel's book also mentioned how the Vietnamese regime "borrowed images from the West and inserted them into a "distorted" history", using images of the War to substantiate their version and views on Vietnam War history.

Audience and reception


It is one of the most popular museums in Vietnam, attracting approximately half a million visitors every year. According to the museum's own estimates, about two-thirds of these are foreigners. An analysis of the impression books (which the tourists may use to leave their comments in at the exit) revealed that the museum's visitors used to be mostly Europeans and North Americans before 2005, but that its audience became much more varied after Vietnam dropped their visa requirement for ASEAN countries that year. The impression books also record mixed responses to the museum; some visitors noted down their own anti-American sentiments, especially after 2001. Others simply praised Vietnam, while some Europeans and Americans harshly criticized the museum for its "propaganda" and "glorification of [their] victory".

Gallery

The Vietnam War Remnants Museum in Photos

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War Remnants Museum Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is home to an incredible museum which was formerly known as the “Museum of American War Crimes”, and the “War Crimes Museum” up until 1993 when the name was changed to simply the “War Remnants Museum”. This name change came after the liberation of Vietnam and the rekindling of relations with the United States.

As you enter the grounds of the museum you’re instantly surrounded by military vehicles and equipment which include helicopters, planes, jets, giant bombs, and a variety of tanks. As soon as we walked through the entrance, this place brought me back in time to when my father used to take me to the local air shows back home. Liz and I had a great time exploring the grounds and taking photos in front of all the different military vehicles. Our experience inside was a totally different story.

Please note: The War Remnants Museum does give off somewhat of a one-sided view of the war.

WARNING:

Graphic Images below may not be suitable for all viewers.

m41 tank

M-41 Tank

CH-47 Chinook Helicopter

CH-47 Chinook Helicopter

Soldier picking up the remains

U.S. Soldier picking up the corpse of a dead Viet Cong soldier.

Dragging Viet Cong behind tank

American soldiers dragging the dead bodies of Viet Cong soldiers.

Vietnam War

G.I.’s holding the heads of dead Viet Cong soldiers.

Vietnam War Facts

Story about former Lieutenant and U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey.

Agent Orange

“The Purple People Eater — Agent Orange Defoliant. (More info…)

Agent Orange Facts Vietnam War

Defoliant Facts from the Vietnam War.

Curtis Lemay Quote

Quote from Curtis Lemay – Comm. of Strategic Air Comand. U.S. Air Force.

Phan Thị Kim Phúc

A Pulitzer Prize winning photograph that shows Phan Thị Kim Phúc (Age: 9) running naked down the street after being severely burned by a South Vietnamese napalm attack.

Vietnam War

Vietnam War Statistics.

Robert McNamara quote

“Yet we were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain why”. — Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara.

Vietnam War Remnants Museum

Admission: 15,000 VND ($0.76 USD)

Address: 28 Vo Van Tan St – District 3 – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Map)

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