Introduction of the Vietnam History Museum
Also known as the Vietnam National Museum of History, is a museum located in Hanoi, Vietnam. It features a wide range of exhibits and displays that showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage and historical development.

The museum is located in a large, modern building in the heart of Hanoi, and features a number of exhibition galleries that are divided into different periods of Vietnam’s history. These galleries feature a variety of artifacts and displays, including ancient pottery and bronze objects, clothing and textiles, coins and currency, and other objects that provide insight into the country’s past. The museum also includes a number of interactive exhibits and educational programs, as well as a library and research center.

Establishment of the Vietnam History Museum
Constructed in 1932 to the design of French architect Ernest Hébrard, the present-day building of the Vietnam National Museum of History was home to the École française d’Extrême-Orient (French Far East School) which had been etablished earlier back in 1910. The institution conducted numerous archeological researches and made great effort in discovering and documenting different aspects of Vietnam’s history and traditions. After the First Indochina War, the museum was acquired by the goverment of the Vietnam Democratic Republic (North Vietnam) in 1958. One of the finest collections of historic artifacts in Vietnam housed in this stunning 20th-century school building. Over the past decades artifact collections have been expanded to cover more subjects reflecting the evolution of the national history.

The Main Building of the Vietnam History Museum
Located at #1 Trang Tien Street, the building was designed by French architect Ernest Hebrard, the museum building is among finest examples of Indochinese architecture. Thefaçade combines Western Neoclassical columns and arches with curved roofs and hexagonal towers usually seen on Chinese temples. Both the interior and exterior are adorned with figures from the Khmer and Champa cultures. Before you enter the museum, spend some time to examine the building’s exquisite design.

The museum is divided into a number of galleries, each of which covers a different period in Vietnam’s history. You’d better ask for a museum map to follow in the correct sequence.

Prehistory and Protohistory Period
Upon entering the museum, visitors may begin their journey through Vietnam’s past by exploring the earliest periods of the country’s history, which are represented in the Prehistory and Protohistory galleries. These galleries feature exhibits on the ancient cultures and civilizations that inhabited Vietnam, including displays of pottery, bronze objects, and other artifacts.

The prehistory of Vietnam spans the period from the earliest human settlements in the region to the establishment of the Vietnamese state, a process that occurred over the course of thousands of years. The earliest human settlements in Vietnam date back to the Paleolithic period, around 500,000 years ago. During the Neolithic period, which began around 4000 BC, the development of wet rice cultivation and bronze casting in the Red River Delta led to the growth of complex societies. The Bronze Age Dong Son culture, which flourished from around 1000 BC to 1 BC, is considered the first civilization in Vietnamese history. The period from the 4th to the 1st centuries BC saw the development of the first Vietnamese state, known as Van Lang.

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The protohistory of Vietnam refers to the period of history from the end of prehistory to the start of the Chinese domination of Vietnam in 111 BC. During this time, Vietnam became more culturally and politically Sinicized, as it came under the influence of the Chinese Han dynasty.

In the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, the Vietnamese state of Van Lang came into contact with the Chinese state of Qin, which had recently unified much of China under its rule. The Chinese and Vietnamese states engaged in diplomatic and trade relations, and Vietnam began to adopt elements of Chinese culture, such as the Chinese script and the Confucian system of government.

In the 1st century BC, the Chinese Han dynasty conquered Vietnam and established the province of Jiaozhi, which included the Red River Delta and parts of present-day northern Vietnam. This marked the beginning of over 1000 years of Chinese domination of Vietnam, which ended in the 10th century AD with the collapse of the Tang dynasty.

The Sa Huynh and Champa civilizations both flourished in what is now central and southern Vietnam and were known for their sophisticated bronze casting technology and production of finely crafted decorative objects. However, they existed during different periods of history, with the Sa Huynh civilization preceding the Champa civilization by several centuries.

The Sa Huynh culture was a civilization that flourished in what is now central and southern Vietnam from around 1000 BC to 1 BC. It is named after the Sa Huynh region in central Vietnam, where many important artifacts from this civilization have been found. The Sa Huynh civilization is known for its sophisticated bronze casting technology, as well as its production of finely crafted jewelry, ceramics, and other decorative objects.

The Champa civilization, also known as the Cham civilization, was a civilization that flourished in what is now central and southern Vietnam and parts of Cambodia from the 2nd to the 15th centuries AD. It is known for its Hindu and Buddhist temples, as well as its sophisticated bronze casting technology and production of finely crafted jewelry and ceramics.

The Sa Huynh and Champa civilizations both flourished in what is now central and southern Vietnam and were known for their sophisticated bronze casting technology and production of finely crafted decorative objects. However, they existed during different periods of history, with the Sa Huynh civilization preceding the Champa civilization by several centuries.

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Funan is considered to be one of the earliest Indianized states in Southeast Asia, and was known for its sophisticated urban centers and advanced agricultural and trade systems. The kingdom of Funan was eventually replaced by the kingdom of Chenla, which emerged in the 7th century AD.

Chinese Domination Period
Vietnam has a long and rich history that stretches back over thousands of years. During the period from the 2nd century BCE to the 10th century CE, Vietnam was a land of many different empires and cultures.

In the 2nd century BCE, Vietnam was part of the Chinese Han Empire and was known as Jiaozhi. The Han established a province in northern Vietnam and introduced many aspects of Chinese culture, including the Chinese writing system, legal system, and bureaucracy.

After the fall of the Han Empire in the 3rd century CE, Vietnam was divided into several rival kingdoms. In the 5th century CE, the kingdom of Van Lang emerged as the dominant power in Vietnam. This kingdom was eventually conquered by the Chinese Tang Dynasty in the 7th century CE, and Vietnam was once again incorporated into the Chinese Empire.

In the 10th century CE, Vietnam regained its independence after a series of revolts against the Chinese. The kingdom of Dai Viet was established, and it would go on to become the dominant power in Vietnam for many centuries.

The Independence Period
After the Chinese domination period in Vietnam, which lasted from the 2nd century BCE to the 10th century CE, Vietnam regained its independence and established itself as a sovereign nation. In the 10th century CE, the kingdom of Dai Viet was established in Vietnam, which would go on to become the dominant power in the country for many centuries.

During this period, Vietnam developed its own unique culture, language, and political system, and it maintained its independence despite numerous invasions and attempts at colonization by foreign powers. However, Vietnam was not completely isolated from the rest of the world and continued to have significant cultural and economic exchanges with its neighbors, including China, India, and the kingdoms of Southeast Asia.

The Second Building #216 Tran Quang Khai

Vietnam in modern era is showcased in a building across the main street. Huge exhibition halls in this building display Vietnamese history from the mid 19th century to present. The visit start point is weirdly on the first floor.

The Colonial Era and the 2nd Indochina Wars
The French domination period in Vietnam lasted from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century and had a significant impact on the country’s history and culture. France began colonizing Vietnam in the mid-19th century, and by the 1880s, it had established a strong presence in the country. The French ruled Vietnam through a system of indirect rule, using local elites to administer the country and enforce French rule.

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During the French colonial period, Vietnam underwent significant economic, social, and cultural changes. The French introduced new crops, such as rubber and tea, which helped to modernize the country’s agriculture. They also built a network of roads, railroads, and ports, which facilitated trade and increased economic activity.

However, the French colonial rule was also marked by widespread repression and exploitation of the Vietnamese people. Many Vietnamese resisted French rule and there were several uprisings and rebellions against the colonial government. The most significant of these was the First Indochina War, which lasted from 1946 to 1954 and ended with the withdrawal of the French and the establishment of an independent Vietnam.

The division of Vietnam following the Geneva Accord was a temporary measure that was intended to bring an end to the fighting and provide a way forward for the two sides to peacefully coexist. However, the accord did not address the deep-seated political and ideological differences between the communist North and the non-communist South, and the two sides soon descended into a new conflict, known as the Vietnam War, which lasted from 1955 to 1975.

Vietnam In the Post War Period
After the war, Vietnam faced many challenges as it worked to rebuild and recover from the devastating effects of the conflict. The country was heavily bombed and many of its cities and infrastructure were destroyed. There were also millions of casualties, both military and civilian, and many people were left homeless or displaced.

In the post-war period, Vietnam implemented a series of economic and political reforms known as Doi Moi, which aimed to modernize and open up the country’s economy and improve living standards. These reforms helped to stimulate economic growth and development, and Vietnam has made significant progress in the years since the end of the war.

However, the post-war period in Vietnam has also been marked by ongoing political and social challenges, including human rights issues and tensions with other countries, including the United States. Despite these challenges, Vietnam has made significant strides in recent years and has become a strong and prosperous nation in Southeast Asia.

Information of the Vietnam History Museum
Block 1: #1 Trang Tien Street and
Block 2: #216 Tran Quang Khai Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Opening: Daily: 08:00-12:00 and 13:30-17:00.
Except first Monday of the month.
Entrance fee:
Adult: 40,000đ/person
Child below 6 yrs: free
Photography: 15,000đ/camera
Filming: 30,000đ/camera
Average visit time: 2 hours