The museum, which is on the list of HCMC’s 100 most exciting things launched by the HCMC People’s Committee and the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, exhibits pictures and objects related to the destruction caused by the U.S. army from 1955 to 1975. The museum, covering an area of over 3,000 square meters, was rebuilt in 2002 by the HCMC People’s Committee.
Displays in the two-story building are arranged into eight permanent thematic exhibitions. They include Requiem-The Vietnam Collection, Historical Truths, International Support for Vietnamese People in their Resistance War, U.S. state-of-the-art Weaponry used in Vietnam, Imprisonment System and Vestiges of War Crimes and Aftermath.
Established in September, 1975, the museum attracts nearly 450,000 visitors per year, according to the museum. About 70% are foreigners, mainly from Japan, China, the U.S. and Korea, a guide at the museum told the Daily. The Daily saw a group of American visitors standing for a long time and looking carefully at the images of the reporters who covered the battle fields in Central Vietnam. They wanted to see what the U.S. did to Vietnam and the Vietnamese people. But when they stepped into a room called Vietnam-Post-War Recovery, they could see images of Vietnam and its people from a different angle, a strong Vietnam rising up after war. This room is home to 94 pictures displayed as 47 open books, with the left page a black and white image from the past and the right page a color photo showing present development. Those help visitors look back to Vietnam’s suffering and admire the recovery of the Vietnamese people since the aftermath.
The museum welcomes hundreds of Vietnamese students every year who come to learn more about previous generations and to find inspiration to create a bright future. There is a room for temporary displays about Vietnam’s public holidays. on Friday, this room is themed Ho Chi Minh’s Aspiration for Peace on the occasion of his 120 birthday on May 19. The room will be themed Agent Orange on the occasion of Day for Vietnam Agent Orange/Dioxin Victims on August 10, the guide added.
The museum also has a room for documentaries screening six sessions per day. Tickets are VND15,000 for foreigners and VND2,000 for Vietnamese. The museum is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.