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Ho Chi Minh Museum

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The Ho Chi Minh Museum does exactly what, given its name, you would expect it to do. Opened in 1990 on the anniversary of Ho Chi Minh's birth, the Soviet-style museum is a bizarre hagiography brought to life.

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After a visit to the man himself at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, then a spin past the Presidential Palace and his two former homes, and a quick stop at the One Pillar Pagoda, an exploration of the Ho Chi Minh Museum is the next natural stop on a do-it-yourself Ho Chi Minh tour of Hanoi.

The next generation ready for its indoc..., er, education. Photo taken in or around Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi, Vietnam by Samantha Brown.

The next generation ready for its indoc..., er, education. Photo: Samantha Brown

The first exhibits are primarily black and white photos, interspersed with books, letters, copies of speeches and the like. Captions are brief but informative, in English and Vietnamese, although there’s a randomness about it all, as you'll find a black and white photo of the tank breaking down the gates at Independence Palace one pillar away from a colour photo of the first successful organ implant in Vietnam in 2004.

On the next floor, you'll be greeted by a massive statue of the man of the honour. It’s awarded its own room, and what a room at that: high ceilings, tiled walls and intricate inlays abound.

The man himself. Photo taken in or around Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi, Vietnam by Samantha Brown.

The man himself. Photo: Samantha Brown

Next up are a series of rather bizarre, 1970-style art installations that have the intention of depicting the world at the beginning of the 20th century in order to demonstrate the changes that were going on in the world that had a deep impact on "Ho Chi Minh's thinking and his quest for national liberation".

Themes covered include human hope and achievement versus the degradations of fascism, and you'll see Ho Chi Minh's hideout in Cao Bang Cave rendered as a human brain. It's post-modernism influenced by pop art, with a heavy dose of socialist realism. And in the tradition of Soviet collectivist art, none of the creators are ... Travelfish members only (Around 400 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Ho Chi Minh Museum
19 Ngoc Ha St, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Daily 08:00-12:00, 14:00-16:30, closed Mon and Fri afternoons.
T: (04) 3846 3757 F: (04) 3843 9837;
Admission: 40,000 dong

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