Results 1-10of 13 Reviews
Northampton, United Kingdom
May 27, 2011
From journal Vietnam
Halifax, Nova Scotia
February 17, 2011
From journal New Year's In Saigon
London, England, United Kingdom
August 29, 2010
From journal Vietnam Part 1: Ho Chi Minh City
Los Angeles, California
September 19, 2008
From journal Vietnam...It's a Country Not a War
May 4, 2006
From journal Teaching in Vietnam
September 16, 2005
From journal Hectic Ho Chi Minh City
Bayside, New York
May 21, 2005
A mural of a dove welcomes the visitor to the War Remnants Museum.There will be no rhetoric from me as to "not for the faint of heart"; however, I wish we were as frank about the legacies of war as I found this to be. Most telling is the plaque on the wall entitled "Historical Truths". It begs for recognition. The Museum has assembled a permanent collection of U.S. war materiel in a plein air fashion; among the stars are 3000 lb. bombs, an A37B Attack aircraft, land shaking bombs, guns, artillery, and a framed stone representing the image of Buddha, which was given to Viet Nam by Hiroshima in the name of peace. It stands guard as a silent protestor on the outside war arsenal display.
Fascinating is the collection of photos taken by international photographers as a reminder of the pivotal role they played in archiving the war at a time when real-time news was not at our disposal. Particular homage is paid Bun’yo Ishikawa of the Japan Press. His Nikon camera, camouflage outfit and an anti-war poster are under glass. Some of the photos are familiar, having appeared in our own national publications, or having won prestigious awards. They are nonetheless horrific. I learned that world opposition to this war was far greater than imagined: posters in French (they warned us to stay away), German, Danish, Japanese, and many in English from the US asking for an end to the hostilities. Yes, denouncements of Agent Orange, with documentation of its still occurring human abnormalities 4 decades later. And proudly presented is the apology of one American Sgt. William Brown, with all of his war medals assumingly returned to the Vietnamese with his regret.
Several buildings comprise the exhibit, but they are numbered, and you can follow the sequence, if order is something you need. You will find facsimiles of the tiger cages (building # 3), which were built by the French in 1939 and later used by the US to house "non-combatants". If you are not familiar with these structures, please visit this link . And as expected, the entire exhibit is told from the perspective of the Vietnamese; I would not imagine any country in the world that was being invaded to do it differently. Some things strike more than others: the quasi-methodical manner by which the American War arsenal is described – factual, historically accurate, to the point. One simply cannot ignore some of the "writings on the wall" literally. At the end of one exhibit, I photographed the following:
"We would like to thank the communist parties and working class of the countries of the World, national liberation movements, nationalistic countries, peace-loving countries, international democratic organizations, and progressive human beings for their wholehearted support, and strong encouragement to our people’s patriotic resistance against the US for national salvation".
From journal They call me Saigon
April 23, 2005
The War Remnants Museum was previously known as the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes, but changed its name to steer clear of controversy and to avoid offending certain tourists. The museum is transparent in all aspects of the Vietnam War, depicting it in gruesome and heart-wrenching pictures not fit for the faint-hearted. Though portraying the enemy in such a way is seemingly biased, the pictures do speak for themselves.
The museum consists of the outdoor exhibitions displaying war utilities, like tanks, planes, cannons, jets, helicopters and bomb craters; six rooms consisting mainly of photographs and history boards; and the tiger cages and guillotines. For those who have little knowledge of the chronicles of the Vietnam War, it is advisable to visit the sections according to the number orders. Each room tells the grisly and dreadful war story from the beginning to the end.
The photographs depict the war in a way that one can never imagine. It can be rather traumatizing scanning through such compelling reality; planes dropping tons of bombs from the air, villages under attack, soldiers shooting at random, torture, mass killings, piles of mangled bodies on the roadside, the affects of agent orange on the Vietnamese children, and so many other despicable events. There is no need to read the picture descriptions or history cards to feel the chill running up your spine. The war is right in front of your eyes.
There is more light towards the end of the exhibitions, of the Vietnamese building a new life from the aftermath of the war, with the promise of peace and a better life. Drawings of little Vietnamese children give the museum a sense of balance by bringing in more color, and clear the mind of the dreary black-and-white sepia photographs throughout the museum.
The introduction to the War Remnants Museum brochure ends with, "In retrospect, the Vietnam War is not for inciting hatred, but just for learning lessons from history: human beings will not tolerate such a disaster from happening again, neither in Vietnam nor anywhere on our planet."
Let’s all pray to that.
From journal Saigon: Relishing the Present, Reminiscing the Past
, United Kingdom
February 2, 2005
Upon entry, you can pick up a useful little map of the museum, letting you know what is in each area. You are supposed to visit the sections in number order and there are set routes throughout each section, although these can be confusing at times. The need to view the museum in the correct order will vary, depending on your background knowledge of the conflict. Those with little knowledge should make more of an effort to view the exhibits in order to aid comprehension.
There are some excellent photographs depicting the Vietnam War throughout the museum as a whole, but the majority can be found in the first section, which deals with the history of the war. There are some excellent sections devoted to the war correspondents who perished in the conflict, together with covers and articles they had written from magazines such as ’Time’.
The other sections include weapons used in the Vietnam War, including experimental missiles developed by the U.S., and the infamous Agent Orange and Napalm rocket casings. With these, they also showed photos of those people deformed by these weapons and an unnecessary preserved, deformed foetus in a medical jar.
The other sections contained photos from demonstrations around the world, the liberation, and other propaganda from the era. In addition to all of this, they show a film in the first section which is mainly about how Agent Orange effected the country then and how it still does today. Some people will find this very interesting, as it deals with individuals and how they have been affected. It is, however, thin on facts and information about the conflict itself.
There is a small gift shop on-site which also sells film, batteries, and refreshments. The gifts range from general arts and crafts to Zippos, dog tags, and empty shells, all distressed to look as if they were from the actual conflict.
If you have to visit one place while in Ho Chi Minh City, this should be the place.
From journal Ho Chi Minh City
dundee, United Kingdom
May 9, 2003
Of the photo displays, one of the most thought provoking I reckon isn’t the photos of various battles or military views but of the photojournalists themselves, and the adventures they had and risks they took to get a story back home.
From journal Saigon Sights