War Remnants Museum – Saigon

Let’s face it, there are not a lot of places in the world where you can go to a musuem that celebrates defeating the U.S. military.  Located by the Reunification Palace (where a North Vietnamese tank symbollicaly burst through the gates to finalize the Fall of Saigon), this museum represents the victors side, as most musuems do.

Actually, this place is not so much a celebration of victory as it is a memorial of the horrors of war and atrocities by the Americans.  Even when mentioning the war with the French that preceded our involvement, the focus is on the U.S. providing weaponery to France.

In the courtyard, there are a variety of U.S. military vehicles, weapons, and planes with statistics about how many of them were in service in Vietnam during the war.

Courtyard at War Remnants Museum

Courtyard at War Remnants Museum

Inside, there a number of exhibits that range from the somewhat silly to the graphic images that you really don’t want to see.  On the silly side, there is a collection of items that have been donated to the musuem by American soldiers who fought in the country that includes a tube of chapstick used by an American private while in Vietnam.  Yes, the actual tube used while in-country.

The next exhibit was centered around the anti-war protests, rallies, and statements from around the world condemning the U.S. action.  Moving on to the next level, there is a graphic presentation of the effects of Agent Orange on both the villagers affected at the time and also the effects on subsequent generations through grotesque birth defects.

Finally, there was an excellent exhibit featuring the work of war photographers including famous American ones such as Robert Capa and Eddie Adams, but also European, Vietnamese, and Japanese ones.  If you want to see some of the same images featured in the gallery, go to this excellent page at the Daily Mail website:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2441235/Historic-images-Vietnam-War-courageous-AP-photographers.html

Gruesome pictures detailed famous abuses such as the My Lai Massacre in the village of Son My, Vietnam.  The experience here is probably similar to visiting the Holocaust Museum.  The facts are hard to dispute and so are the horrors of war.  It took maybe one hour to tour the museum and glad I took the opportunity to see one of the few “sights” in this capital city.

Interestingly enough, the war photographers exhibit, titled “Requiem,” was a “gift of the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

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One Response to War Remnants Museum – Saigon

  1. Kevin says:

    Great stories and great descriptions! Feels like I’m there! Travel safe and I look forward to reading more!

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