War Remnants Museum

This much-visited museum presents a confronting and often graphic portrayal of the Vietnam War.

Housed in a former American administration building, the War Remnants Museum contains exhibitions that are designed to show the effects of the Vietnam War on the Vietnamese people. It was opened only a few months after the end of the war and used to be known as the Museum of US and Puppet War Crimes. While many of the exhibits have an anti-American slant, the museum’s main goal is to show the horrors of war.

The museum traces the history of Vietnamese warfare from French Vietnam through to the post-Vietnam War era. The ground floor has displays showing international support for the Vietnamese resistance. This exhibition sets the tone for the museum, which is claimed by some international visitors to present a one-sided view of the war.

On the top floor you’ll find an exhibition by Japanese war photographer Ishikawa Bunyo, who covered the Vietnam War throughout the conflict. The exhibition contains more than 250 photographs of soldiers and civilians affected by the war and is considered by many to be a highlight of the museum.

Throughout the museum there are more graphic displays showing the effects of Agent Orange on the Vietnamese population. These exhibitions hold an incredible array of photographs and specimens recounting the human cost of war. If traveling with young children, you might want to skip some of these exhibitions, as they can be quite distressing.

The courtyard is more suitable for children, with displays including former prison cells and a range of American military equipment including tanks, helicopters and planes. There are also a number of unexploded weapons, with charges removed, on display in the courtyard.

Although graphic at times, the museum is one of the most visited attractions in Ho Chi Minh City. The War Remnants Museum is open daily.