14:55 02/11/2013 Our swift introduction of Ho Chi Minh was executed after boarding bus 152 and roaming the famous Ben Thanh Market. Somehow it gave us the glimpse of the present Saigon and Vietnam in general. But something is missing and we knew that a historical Museum would fill that gap.
We’re so lucky to be accompanied by a local whose a friend’s friend. She meet us at the hotel and then lead us to War Remnants Museum.
An entrance fee of 15.000 Vietnamese Dong ( $0.70) each was collected before we went to the museum. It was relatively cheap knowing how expensive it could be when visiting a historical museum. Yey!
War Remnants Museum, is a museum dedicated to Vietnam War and history. As you know we’d this penchant about historical stuff. Going this monumental edifice was ticked off one of the list of this trip.
We entered the main hall with enthusiasm and appetite to know more about Vietnam War history. We haven’t expected the hall was so airy and spacious.
The entire lobby exhibit was about a preface of Vietnam War, Communism and US involvement in Indochina War.
There we saw a lot of anti-US propaganda and collection of photos from different persona and the people of Vietnam. Another section that captures our interest was about Vietnam on Communism and its link to other nations who embrace this socioeconomic system.
The photo above is an example of Chileans Communist Party emblem given to Vietnam communist party. And how communist countries supported Vietnam all throughout in the war.
Another insightful fact we came to know that it wasn’t only Vietnamese loathed this war. But also the International community voicing out to the US disengaging the war with Vietnam. The photos showing a rally in different parts of the globe.
Weaponry and Fire Power
We head on the second floor of the building in which an exhibit of all the firearms, bombs, and mines used in Vietnam War.
Looking at the amount of collection on this exhibit was totally fascinating. Different sizes and shapes of bullets and ammunition. Mortar shell of different caliber exudes terror.
Another incredible sight was the sheer collection of weaponry. We only used to see these stuff in the movies.
It looks scruffy and old but for sure these firearms killed at least a thousand. The dents of the Machine gun below will tell a lot of stories.
The picture below brought some good memories in our younger days. We used to mimic a GI carrying a heavy bazooka on the shoulder but instead we carried a bamboo made one. Somehow we fancy and acted that famous movie “Platoon”.
Colt 45 pistols usually used by American soldiers and Saigon Army for self-protection. From the caption above this weapon was also used to kill innocent people.
Aside from combat firearms, different kind of mines was also utilized during the Vietnam war. Gravel mines may not be that lethal but it’s enough to immobilize and wounding someone.
Bombs of different sizes used in air raids were also displayed in the exhibit. Again different sizes with a different purpose.
Photos above are the fragments of the bomb carried out during Vietnam war. Several images were displayed on the walls. Showing the aftermath of air assaults and destruction of numerous structures in Vietnam.
Another section of the exhibit was about the collection of photographs by 134 international journalists who were killed during the Vietnam war.
This section is not for the faint-hearted. Disturbing images that depicts the horror of war. The photo below are graveyard of three children in remote village killed during the war.
The sewer above is the actual remnant where the three kids (above photo) was murdered by US Seals. It was a grim and mournful site to behold. Melancholy sets in and we’d decided to move on different exhibit as it became too unbearable and depressing.
It’s the exhibit where Agent orange or color coded Chemical used in the warfare. Honestly, we don’t have any idea what this mean about until we saw the images. US Army sprayed 12 Million gallons of Dioxin ( a toxic chemical) in Southern Vietnam defoliating trees and shrubs that help enemies cover.
Even four decades had passed, people of Vietnam still bear the effects of this toxic chemical. A huge of numbers of birth defects, deformities, quality of life inflicted by this herbicide. We felt pity in these innocent people, a post-war casualty.
Just outside the main building was an alley, a diorama of imprisonments. There we saw how prisoners were treated during the war.
A thin man depicts a Vietnamese prisoner being shackled in a dark small room. It was an eerie sight. Whew!
War Planes and Tanks
In front of the main building was huge exhibit of the actual war machines during the Vietnam war.
Warplanes of US Airforce
Above are my personal likes, American Armored Tank and mammoth Chinook. Heavy Artillery was also exhibited.
Our visit on War Remnants Museum didn’t only enrich our historical knowledge. But also widen our emotional spectrum. It’s definitely a must visit Museum here in Saigon, Vietnam.
The atrocity of war should never be forgotten as it teaches the value of life and peace.
Sky and Summer