Vietnam Museum of Ethnography

A must see

Photo of , , Hanoi

What we say: 4.5 stars

While somewhat inconveniently located, this museum is absolutely worth making the effort to reach. If you're planning on going trekking in the mountains to the north and northwest of Hanoi, this museum should be considered an essential research stop.

The displays, labelled in English throughout, are both comprehensive and fascinating, covering all the main minority groups you're likely to come across on a trek. Plentiful audiovisual displays are offered along with more typical museum fare.

The best part of the museum, however, is found outside to the rear. Here in a lovely green garden you'll find well-crafted examples of traditional houses in ethnic minority regions. The Banhar communal house with its impossibly high roof and creaking bamboo floor is a stunning piece of work, with nary a nail used in its construction. It's also delightfully cool even in summer. And don't miss the replica of a Giarai tomb with its cheerful, rather well-endowed, fertility symbols carved from wood.

Back inside, be sure to check out Mr Pham Dang Uy's bicycle, loaded down with 800 wooden and bamboo fishtraps. Also on display: shaman masks, a recreation of the Sapa market and a ruler to measure pigs. We'd been looking for one of those.

Guides are available for a fee and you’ll have to pay more if you want to take photographs or video.

The museum is easily reached by the number 14 bus followed by a 10-minute walk down Nguyen Van Huyen Street.

More details
Nguyen Van Huyen St, Western Hanoi
Opening Hours: 08:30-17:30, closed Mondays
Last updated: 26th September, 2013

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Read 1 opinions from Travelfish readers

  • Don't miss this

    2nd February, 2013

    I first visited this museum in 2000 and have enjoyed seeing it develop. Not only is the regular exhibition a great way to learn about the minrity groups of Vietnam, but there are also special exhibitions in the room downstairs. The best I've seen was about the way people lived in the 80s when everything was rationed. There are also often special activities in the garden, particularly on weekends. And the great museum shop is a branch of Craftlink. There's also a small restaurant in the garden. Getting the bus is easy. The driver will probably be able to tell you where to get off but you can follow the bus route quite easily on your map. The return route is a little different to the outward route but you should be ok if you get on at the stop opposite where you got off and you could visit the botanical gardens or west lake on your way back.

    Vietnam Museum of Ethnography reviewed by violets (2)
    Written on 2nd February, 2013, rated 5 out of 5. Visited here in April, 2012

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