Sunday , June 23 2024

Best museums in Hà Nội

By Lê Hương*

Việt Nam is a country rich in traditions and steeped in history.

In Hà Nội, people are especially proud of the many achievements made over the years.

The capital is blessed with numerous museums that are the best places to learn and fully understand the country.

Vietnamese Women’s Museum and Vietnam Military History Museum are among the most highly recommended by travel sites and local guides.

Located right in the heart of Hà Nội, the Women’s Museum showcases thousands of exhibits featuring the crucial role of women in Việt Nam’s society.

Whether street vendors, businesswomen, or national leaders, they are the heroines of the country.

Nguyễn Thị Tuyết, Director of the Vietnam Women’s Museum, said after the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum has spared no efforts to attract more visitors.

“Our museum has diversified activities like hosting events that attract many people and make our museum much more accessible,” she told Việt Nam News.

She said the museum would not stop there.

“The museum belongs to Vietnam Women’s Association, female leaders of which have many stories to tell about the history and present days,” she said. “Such examples should be spread widely to educate young people.”

These historical establishments are a must-see for international visitors.

Ferda Seyhan, a visitor from Turkey, said she had been to the museum twice.

I know about this museum from social media,” she said. “I want to see the women in Vietnam, how they achieve all this success at war, at science, and other platforms.”

“The women from Việt Nam, I can see they are creative, their passion in every area of life, they’re trying to make the life better for their children and their nation,” she said. “That is why I am impressed a lot.”

Two visitors learn how to use a stone mill at the Women’s Museum. VNS Photo Lê Hương

Howard Backer from the US shared the same opinion.

“I think it’s a very unique, unusual museum because it shows all the different aspects of not only a woman’s life but also the accomplishment of their role in Vietnamese society,” he said.

“What attracts me the most is that there is a very strong matriarchal lineage in Vietnamese society in the past and it is still in power in the current day. Women are encouraged to play very important roles not just in their families but in all professional areas in Việt Nam.”

He said that was his first time in Việt Nam.

“The only thing I knew growing up is I’m old enough that I was of the age where people had to come to fight Việt Nam, and I was in university at that time so I was among the people who protested the war,” he said.

“I was very interested in the women’s role during that war because we never knew about that in the US.”

Việt Nam has a long history of bloody struggles with enemy forces.

Visitors watch a documentary at the Women’s Museum. VNS Photo Lê Hương

Vietnam Military History Museum, which is located just a few minutes away from the Old Quarter, is a treasure trove of knowledge.

The museum is home to nearly 16,000 objects including four National treasures.

Many tourists make sure they stop by on their visit.

Cameron Bennett, an Australian tourist, noted that there are a lot of American aircraft that were involved here as well.

“I still feel like people are still healing from the war, and it’s going to take a long time for them to heal, regardless,” he said. “But I think the Vietnamese people are doing very well about it. They’re a lot more open about it than I thought, to talk. I think it’s a slow process, but it’s going well.”

Jessica Hoey, another Australian tourist, said: “It was very impressive, the number of artefacts that are here, the different types of weapons and aircraft, it’s really good to see them in person to get a sense of the scale of everything.

“It’s really interesting to read all of the information about the different types of defences that were used in the Việt Nam War, and also to chat with people who are here to ask about their experiences,” she said.

Vietnamese visitor Nguyễn Thái Bình highly appreciated the documents and exhibits at the museum, which reflect Vietnamese people’s struggles.

Visitors are often curious about the aircraft at the Vietnam Military History Museum. VNS Photo Lê Hương

“Here I can see that our ancestors have sacrificed a lot to gain independence for the country,” he said.

Even tour guides have made the museum tour more interesting.

Hà Minh Triết, a tour guide, said he always takes tourists here and tells them about the wars, fights, strategies, and things involving that.

“Tourists like history a lot, especially the ones who bought this tour,” he said. “This is a chance for me to learn more about history so that I can share with tourists. After each tour, I understood even more and also improved my English capability. When tourists show their interest in my stories, I feel very excited.”

The museum has spared no efforts to spread knowledge.

Senior Colonel Đinh Xuân Hòa, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Military History Museum, said that since 2014, the museum has utilised guide technology. They have made six 3D films with 360-degree vision so that visitors can react to relics and exhibits.

“We have a website established in 2008 to introduce the museum’s activities and the whole system of military museums in the country,” he said. “The website also publishes information on other national museums.”

These museums, like the many across the capital, can take you on a journey into the country’s past.

They are perfect places to learn more about Việt Nam’s rich and diverse history. VNS

(with additional interview by Nhật Hồng)

Guide Hà Minh Triết (fourth from right) explains the fighting tactics of Vietnamese people’s Army during the American War in Việt Nam to visitors. VNS Photo Nhật Hồng

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