A Violent History
For much of Vietnam’s history, the country waged war against enemies who sought to dominate it. First the French, whose dominion over Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia lasted more than a century. Later the United States, whose ceaseless bombing campaign devastated the land. Against all odds, the Vietnamese successfully fought off their larger enemies. Hanoi’s Vietnam Military History Museum is a testament to that success.
The most notable exhibit actually lies outside the museum. The land surrounding the museum is covered in the remains of planes, tanks, and helicopters commandeered from the French and Americans. One of the most famous pieces is a jetplane that dates to the battle of Dien Bien Phu, a decisive 1954 victory against the French still celebrated today.
Inside the museum, visitors will find propaganda films and smaller weapons. But nothing quite as impressive as the military gear outside. The museum is open daily except for Mondays and Fridays, and tickets cost 30,000 dong per person. For those who crave even more Vietnamese history, the Hanoi Citadel is right next door.