0 In Art + Museums/ Guides + How-Tos/ Travel/ Vietnam

A Guide to Hanoi Museums

Hanoi has a lot to offer as far as museums go. We went to three: The Fine Arts Museum, Hao Lo Prison and  The Women’s Museum. Take a closer look at those three and let me tell you more information about the other Hanoi Museums.

⋙ Vietnam Fine Arts Museum ⋘

66 Nguyễn Thái Học, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam

Open: 8:30 – 5, Daily / Admission: $1.35

This museum contains a beautiful collection of arts that depict the Vietnamese culture and a lot of iconography from Buddishm that are truly spectacular.

IMG_4053

Dancing Girl from the 4th – 5th century

IMG_4058

Elephants from 6th – 7th century 

IMG_4060

Dragons Turning to the Lotus Flower from the 9th century

IMG_4070 IMG_4077

Representations of the Bodhisattva Avalokisteshvara

IMG_4078 IMG_4084

Buddha Shakyamuni both from the 18th century

IMG_4086

Young Girls in the Garden

IMG_4098

Fishing in the Moonlight

IMG_4100

Procession to the Pagoda

IMG_4103

Procession to the Pagoda – detail

IMG_4106

Guerrilla with a Bamboo Hat

IMG_4110

Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel Complex

IMG_4113

In the Mangrove

IMG_4116

Long Sleep

IMG_0826

Long Sleep – Detail IMG_4120

Living Space

You absolutely cannot beat this deal. For less than two dollars we got to see so many amazing works of art and pieces of vietnamese culture.

⋙ ⋘

⋙ Hao Lo Prison ⋘

Hoả Lò, Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm

Open: 8 – 5, Daily / Admission: is Around $0.70

The Hao Lo Prison, the same prison that was ironically dubbed the “Hanoi Hilton” by American POWs from the Vietnam War. Although, this is what I went to see the museum for, most of the museum was dedicated to its use in the 1950’s during Vietnam’s struggle for independence from the French. Just to warn you: some of the photos are graphic and can be a bit startling.

IMG_4045

The entrance which still has its old French name “Maison Central” which means Central House.

IMG_3953 IMG_3954

This is the original door and the uniforms worn by the Vietnamese prisoners

IMG_3957

Vietnamese prisoners

IMG_3969 IMG_3972

This is a piece of the old plumbing that a handful of men escaped by crawling through.

IMG_3977

Vietnamese riots against the French

IMG_3985

This image was quite shocking – women’s heads were put on display as a warning. These are some of the horrors of war and imperialism – no matter who is the one taking over. 

IMG_3994

These are some of the women who were killed in this prison

IMG_0804

An example of the cells

IMG_0805 IMG_0808

Looking into the cells through the gated windows.

IMG_4000

The memorial wall of the Vietnamese who were killed or suffered here.

IMG_4004

The memorial wall of the Vietnamese who were killed or suffered here.

On to the American POW Section of Prison. This was really interesting to see because I’ve always heard the stories of torture by POWs, especially John McCain. I even googled more about it the night I visited the prison to make sure I was remembering correctly, but the displays here were full of tales of the pride they had in the way they treated their prisoners. It was such an odd feeling to hear such a different perspective.
IMG_4011

Prisoner’s uniforms and toiletries that were provided

IMG_4019

Bed for American POWs

IMG_4023

John McCain’s flight suit and parachute 

IMG_4026

Vietnamese men swam out into the lake to pull John McCain from the lake where they said his arms were already broken and doctors carefully treated him 

IMG_4030

A Thanksgiving Dinner for the POWs

IMG_4031

A Doctor caring for John McCain

  IMG_4037

John McCain’s visit to the prison.

IMG_4039

A photo of the original size of the prison. It was so massive!

Visiting Hoa Lo Prison was such an interesting experience. It brought up feeling of sadness and confusion, but I think that even the worst experiences are best to be remembered because there is something that we can learn from them.

⋙ ⋘

⋙ Vietnamese Women’s Museum ⋘

36 Lý Thường Kiệt, Hang Bai ward, Hoàn Kiếm

Open: 8 – 5, daily / Admission: $1.35

I really loved this museum because it really put the women that we saw guiding tours, selling fruits on the street, begging and working in museums into perspective. I loved getting a look at the women who fought for their independence, who work for their children and understanding more about how they fit into their role in society.

IMG_4217 IMG_4220 IMG_4224

Gift boxes

collagewedding

These are examples of traditional wedding costumes from different cultures within Vietnam. [Above & Below]

IMG_4235 IMG_4241

Amulets

collage2

Above and below are examples of propaganda posters from the Vietnam War years (this was a favorite exhibit of mine. In with these were stories of female war heroes. So interesting!)

collage IMG_4266 IMG_4268

From here down are examples of Mother Goddess celebrations, costumes and worship! 

collagegoddess IMG_4269

This museum was a bit more difficult to express through photos as many of the exhibits were videos, sound clips and a lot of reading. It is the perfect place to really start to get an understanding of the role of women in the cultures within Vietnam. This was favorite museum of mine.

⋙ ⋘

Other museums in Hanoi (that I did not visit) include:

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Open: 8:30 – 9:30, Tuesday – Sunday / Admission: $1.80

National Museum of Vietnamese History

Open: 8 – noon & 1:30 – 5,  daily / Admission: $0.89

Vietnam Military History Museum

8:30 – 11 & 1 – 4:30, Closed Mon & Fri / Admission: $1.34 

Museum of the Vietnamese Revolution

Open: 8 – noon & 1:30 – 5,  daily / Admission: $0.89

Ho Chi Minh Museum

8:30 – 11 & 1 – 4:30, Closed Mon & Fri / Admission: $1.12

⋙ ⋘

To keep up with my travels in real-time and read more posts and travel articles I find interesting ‘like’ the For the Love of Wanderlust page on Facebook. Simply click HERE.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Join the Conversation!

%d bloggers like this: