The Fito Museums are two separate buildings that tell the story of Traditional Medicine in Southeast Asia. The museum gets their name from the FITO Pharmaceutical company that owns and runs them.
The Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine stands in a nice part of town in District 10 It gives visitors the full story of the development of traditional medicine throughout the course of its long history. The beginnings of Chinese and Vietnamese traditional medicine were in the Stone Age. There are in excess of 3000 exhibits here, displayed to look as though in a traditional style medicine shop.
This is a delightful setting for the exhibits which cover 6 floors and 18 exhibition rooms. One section depicts the story of medicine in intricate wooden carvings. It took 50 artisans three years to complete this section.
The building itself is as much a part of the story, with each room presenting architecture suited to the same regions of the country as the exhibits they hold. There is a temple, the door of which is crafted in the style of a northern house from the Red River basin.There are examples of lingas from the Cham ethnic people and a Hue style balcony.
Fine examples of the tools and equipment used are displayed. There are knives, grinders, mortars and pestles, pots and jars. There is also an audio visual room that shows a documentary called “A Century of Health Care Experiences”.
Ancient practitioners like Tue Tinh (14th century) and Hai Thuong Lang Ong Le Huu Trac (18th century) are honoured here. Tue Tinh is regarded as the greatest of all traditional medicine practitioners and as such is considered a saint, in keeping with Viet tradition.
The Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Pharmacy is further out of town in Binh Duong. It’s a large, over 2000 square metres, museum built in southern vietnamese architectural style. It stands in front of the Fito Pharma factory on the Highway 13, about a 30-minute drive from the city centre. There is a parking for cars and buses. On entering there is a reception room where the museum tours start and finish. The 90 minute tour takes in the 14 rooms of the museum and the Fito Pharmaceutical factory. It fully tells the story of the history of traditional Vietnamese medicine.