Ho Chi Minh City Museum

The Ho Chi Minh City Museum is housed in a late nineteenth century building which remains elegant despite its battleship gray paint job. Completed in 1885 to a French design, it was originally intended as a museum. However, it was appropriated for use as the Cochinchina Governor's Palace. After the 1945 revolution, it became the French High Commissioner's residence office. It then became the Southern Governor's Palace and was later used for a time as the Supreme Court. In 1978, the building was finally assigned its original purpose as a museum.

HCMC History Museum
The Ho Chi Minh City Museum front portico

The museum covers two floors. On the ground floor, you turn left from the main hall to enter the first gallery, which covers the pre-historic era. The next hall displays the various ethnic groups that have settled the area where Saigon is now. The rear gallery of the east wing displays old photos, etchings and models of the early city. Of particular interest is the model of the Gia Dinh Citadel, which was built in 1790 in the area now occupied by the Reunification Palace, but was demolished in 1835.

The west wing of the ground floor displays mementos from the American War, including captured American reconnaissance photos. Another gallery displays traditional wedding costumes and ceremonies.

The galleries upstairs chart the rise of the nationalist movement, as well as the history of craft and trade. A small gallery at the back of the east wing displays the historical currencies of Vietnam.

War planes
Captured aircraft from the American War

In the grounds of the museum are several additional displays. To the east is a group of American aircraft captured at the end of the American war. Behind these is a tank and a collection of old cars.

Ho Chi Minh City Museum Admission Fees & Hours

The Ho Chi Minh City Museum is open every day from 8:00 to 16:00. Admission is 15,000 Dong or US$1. The entrance to the museum grounds is located on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia street just a few steps from the corner of Ly Tu Trong street.