Photo: Confronting.

War Remnants Museum

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Just few blocks from Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh City’s War Remnants Museum is a confronting look at the brutality of war.

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Opened in 1975, the museum has had a few names including the original “Exhibition House for US and Puppet Regime Crime” and “The Crime of War of Aggression”. Name games aside, it is obviously a one-sided presentation though no less harrowing or important display of the American War in Vietnam.

Easy to find. Photo taken in or around War Remnants Museum, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Easy to find. Photo: Cindy Fan

Military equipment are on display outside, while inside the building, exhibitions are spread across three floors.

On the third floor, Requiem is the strongest aspect of the museum. The photography exhibition shows the work of international correspondents/war photographers who died in action. It stems from a project curated by Tim Page and Horst Fass, two press photographers who were injured in Vietnam. Their original exhibition and book had thousands of photographs taken by 133 photographers, commemorating all press photographers who died in the war regardless of nationality or political viewpoint.

Detailed photographic displays. Photo taken in or around War Remnants Museum, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Detailed photographic displays. Photo: Cindy Fan

In this version of Requiem, each featured photographer has a bio and their photos with well written captions or quotations. Their work is unflinching, vivid and raw, and for visitors it is at times hard to bear. Some of the photos are the photographer’s last ones moments before they were killed or went MIA. The exhibition also guides visitors through the stages of the war: at first a distant war, the escalation, the quagmire and the final days.

These correspondents risked and sacrificed their lives in capturing what was happening, bringing the war “over there” into the homes across the US. In an unprecedented manner, colour pictures of massacres were on television sets, in newspapers and magazines. The footage helped galvanise public opinion against the war. For those who have done some travelling in the country, the location of these photographs may hit home. It was only decades ago that corpses lay on the ground in Saigon, Hue, the Ho Chi Minh Trail ... Travelfish members only (Around 600 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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War Remnants Museum
28 Vo Van Tan St, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Mo–Su: 07:30–18:00
T: (08) 930 5587 
Admission: 15,000 VND Skip the rather useless 20,000 dong pamphlet.

Location map for War Remnants Museum

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