The War Remnants Museum is an uncommonly shocking experience that shows the cruelty of war in Vietnam, which lasted for two decades and ended in 1975. Fought officially between the North and South of Vietnam, this was in fact a proxy war with the Soviet Union and China supporting the communist North and the USA forming the main force in the South.
Outside on the open air, there’s a display of artillery pieces, vehicles including tanks, jets, helicopters, howitzers, and other infantry equipment used during the war. If you go further, you will see horrific artifacts from infamous French and South Vietnamese prisons. The most inhumane torture methods on display include ‘tiger cages’ where war prisoners were kept and the guillotine used for executions.
Indoors on the ground floor, you can buy anti-war posters and other small war-related souvenirs. This place is the only one in the whole museum that is somewhat positive. Upstairs, walls are covered with gruesome photographs. The museum primarily deals with the American War, but the French-colonial period and conflicts with China are also documented.
One section of the museum is devoted to the victims of the aftereffects of Agent Orange. This section might be the most challenging part of the museum. This chemical weapon was dropped all over Vietnam, and as a result, several generations have suffered disabilities and pain. Moreover, you can see photos of children affected by US bombing and napalm. There are also photographs of devastation brought by other experimental weapons, such as a flechette, a bullet filled with hundreds of tiny darts. On the third floor, there’s the Requiem Exhibition of journalists from both sides of the battle who were killed during the war.
The museum is open daily from 7:30 to 6 pm for 40k per person. It’s not a “fun” tourist attraction but rather an eye-opening experience as too many people are unaware of the atrocities that the Americans brought to this country.