National Museum of Vietnam history

The National Museum of Vietnamese History (Vietnamese: Viện Bảo tàng Lịch sử Việt Nam) is located in the Hoan Kiem district of Hanoi, Vietnam.The museum used to be the museum of the Research Institute for Far-East history under French colonial rule (École française d'Extrême-Orient). Today, it is a museum showcasing Vietnam's history with a very large display of every period. It is housed in a colonial French building. The building, designed by the architect Ernest Hébrard is considered as a successful blend between the colonial French architecture and traditional Vietnamese architecture.

This is an exhaustive repository of Vietnamese ancient and historical relics nicely displayed with some bare-bones explanations in English. Housed in a building that was the French consulate until 1910 and a museum in various incarnations since, this collection walks you from prehistoric artifacts and carvings to funerary jars and some very fine examples of Dong Son drums from the north, excavations of Han tombs, Buddhist statuary, and everyday items of early history. It's the kind of place where schoolchildren are forced to go (and be careful if you see buses out front), and for anyone but history buffs, you might feel just as bored as the kids. For those on any kind of historical mission in Vietnam, I recommend contacting a tour agency and booking a knowledgeable guide for an excellent overview and a good beginning to any trip.

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