Opposite Lenin Park and close to the revered Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi lies the fascinating Military History Museum (previously Army Museum). The museum opened two years after the defeat of the French on 17th July 1956, and is dedicated to the Vietnamese patriots who laid down their lives in the victorious wars over the technically superior French, Japanese and the Americans.
The museum has a simple layout and displays many artifacts related to the war with the colonial French and showcases the courage and bravery of General Giap. However, the most prized artifacts relate to the American War (or Vietnam War depending on where you live) including the tank T-54B No. 843 that smashed into the Saigon Presidential Palace 30 April 1975 signifying the end of the war and the wreck of a shot down B-52 bomber. Other interesting artifacts that will catch your attention are a Russian-built MiG-21 fighter jet, a diorama of the Battle of Dien Bien Phu and the improvised weapons such as bicycles bicycles that carried 700 pounds of supplies used against both the French and Americans.
In the grounds of the Military History Museum is a hexagonal stone tower built in the nineteenth century, known as the Hanoi Flag Tower. The tower is one of the most important symbols of the capital city and you can see the Vietnamese flag that has been proudly fluttering every day and night since October 1954.
Photo by fredsharples (on Flickr)
Where to find Military History Museum
Vietnam Military History Museum, 28A ?i?n Biên Ph?, ?i?n Biên, Ba ?ình, Hà N?i, Vietnam
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The Quiet American
by Graham Greene
The Quiet American is a definitely a classic. Anyone travelling to Vietnam should read this tale, arguably Greene’s finest work.
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