Do you want to learn about the Vietnam War, or to the Vietnamese, the American War? The best place to do this, hands down, is the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City.
We like to make sure we are hitting all the important museums when we are in a large city. While we’ve been living in Ho Chi Minh City, we’ve been to quite a few like Independence Palace, the Ho Chi Minh History Museum, and even the Saigon Central Post Office, plus much more.
The War Remnants Museum is one of the most popular sights in all of HCMC. The day we went, it was a mid-week morning, and I would say it was pretty packed. People from all over the world were there.
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Visiting Ho Chi Minh City Fast Links (TLDR)
These are our top recommendations while visiting HCMC.
- Caravelle Hotel – ($$$) Famous, or infamous, for their Vietnam Era rooftop bar.
- Orchids Saigon Hotel – ($$) Right downtown and has a pool.
- Singita Saigon Boutique Hotel – ($) – Comfortable, cute, friendly staff and right downtown.
- Ibis Saigon Airport – ($) Near the airport.
Best Tours in HCMC
- A O Show Ticket at Saigon Opera House – Folk Show with a Cirque du Soleil vibe.
- Street Food Evening Walking Tour – a must-do!
- Cu Chi Tunnels: Morning or Afternoon Guided Tour – most popular tour in the city!
Essentials To Pack for Vietnam
In this article:
In this article:
- Visit to the War Remnants Musem
- What to Expect
- Should Children Visit?
- Planning Your Visit
- Things to Do Within Walking Distance
Our Visit to the War Remnants Museum
The War Remnants Museum is a huge complex with one main building, a mock-up of a prison in its own building, and an enclosed yard with Vietnam-era aircraft and other equipment. It took us about two hours to see it all and to say it was interesting just doesn’t quite cut it.
What To Expect
As you walk through the many exhibits, it becomes clear that the Americans were the main enemies, even though they were fighting along with the Northern Vietnamese. The war began as the North and South began having serious problems, and the Americans stepped in to show their support. This is perhaps why most Americans feel like the museum is full of anti-America propaganda.
The main exhibits include:
- Courtyard with tanks and aircraft
- Prison with “tiger cages” where political prisoners were kept
- Main building – history of the war, photojournalists that died, agent orange effects, and much more.
Should Children Visit the War Remnants Museum?
We took our grandson with us, and of course, he enjoyed the outside area with all the aircraft and big machinery, but once we were inside, we quickly realized it was no place for a young child. The photographs are gruesome and grisly.
Thankfully, there is a kid’s room where they can play and read books. We took turns staying with him in the playroom while one of us went and perused the exhibits.
It’s one of those places that really tells a very dark story, and we both left there with huge pits in our stomachs.
So, should kids visit? Younger children, no. Older children, maybe. High school and college students, yes.
Do I think it’s important to visit? Yes. As an American, whose dad fought in Vietnam, it was important for me to see how our nation is perceived, what really happened during the war, and hopefully teaches the lesson that these things just can never happen again.
Planning Your Visit
Address: 28 Vo Van Tan, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Operating Hours: 7:30 – 6:00 daily
Cost: 40K dong for adults
You might want to take one of these tours that includes the War Remnants Museum
- War History Tour with Tunnel and Museum Visits
- Private Half-Day Car Tour of Ho Chi Minh City
- Sai Gon city tour half day
Things to Do Within Walking Distance
- Independence Palace (9-10 min. walk)
- Tao Dan Park – across from Independence Palace
- Ben Thanh Market – (13 min.)
- Sai Gon Central Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral (12 min.)
Final Thoughts on the War Remnants Museum
The War Remnants Museum is a comprehensive museum teaching the realities of a dark and dismal war. It is an important place to go, but don’t let it be the only thing you do in the city. There are so many lighter, happier places to go like the Jade Emperor’s Temple or Ben Thanh Market that you will love.