Museum of Ho Chi Minh city

Museum of Ho Chi Minh city : Previously known as the Revolutionary Museum, this large grey circa-1885 building is on Ly Tu Trong Street, a short walk from the centre of District One and the Reunification Palace.

The colonial building has played a number of roles: firstly it was a commercial museum, then the Cochinchina Governor's palace, then briefly in 1945 it was the provisional administrative HQ before morphing into the French High Commissioner's Office.

Later incarnations included the Gia Long Palace and the Supreme Court. In the late 1970s it was relaunched as the Revolutionary Museum and subsequently renamed the Museum of Ho Chi Minh City.

The museum contains a photographic record of the revolution within Vietnam, beginning with the French and ending with the Americans. There's also an expansive display of more ethno-societal and archaeological relics, though it feels a bit thrown together.

Beneath the museum lies an elaborate network of tunnels and bunkers that reach as far as Reunification Palace. It was through these tunnels that President Diem scampered before eventually fleeing to Cha Tam Church (and his death).

As the tunnels are off-limits, the main attraction, for us anyway, is the actual building. As with many museums across Vietnam, the grounds contain some war booty. Only some of the displays are labelled in English.

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