The museum follows three main strands: the struggle for independence (1858-1945), the war of resistance (1945-1975) and Vietnam on the road to recovery (1975 to present).
While a bit tatty around the edges and uninspiring in layout, if you have any interest in this period of Vietnam’s history, it’s certainly worth a visit if you’re in the area. The rooms related to the war of resistance are primarily full of black and white photos and old documents, but the war of resistance section livens things up a bit; yes, there are guns and bombs and uniforms as you’d expect, but also a large iron vessel used to imprison revolutionary soldiers. We’d not seen one of those before.
The final section brings us up to date – well to 1999 to be precise – with exhibits showcasing Vietnam’s major industries and developments, such as rice production, construction and technology. It’s a bit dated but it’s a feel good way to end a visit.