Of all the places of interest I had visited so far in Hanoi, I would say the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is one of the most interesting. We spent a good couple of hours here because the museum collection is impressively extensive so set aside time as there’ll be lots to explore.
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
Nguyen Van Huyen Road
Cau Giay District, Hanoi
Tel: +84 4 3756 2193
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/btdth
8.30am to 5.30pm (Tue to Sun)
Closed on Mondays and New Year’s holiday
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is quite out of the way and isn’t within walking distance from the Old Quarter. We got there via taxi which cost us about 92,000 VND (SGD5.75) and the journey took just less than 30 minutes (from Gem Boutique Hotel). For the return trip, just book a taxi via Grab Taxi app – more reliable and you wouldn’t have to haggle with the driver (can’t communicate anyway!) if he refuses to go by meter.
The museum is mainly divided into two areas, indoor and outdoor. After you’ve bought your ticket from the ticketing counter (entrance fee is 40,000 VND per person) outside the main gate (right hand side), head towards the main museum building (first picture on the top) for the indoor collection of artefacts, art pieces and modelled scenes that focus on the respective traditions, customs and way of life of the different ethnic groups. When you’re done here, proceed to outside for the outdoor gallery where you’d see life-size houses in a real-life setting to get a better insight into their living quarters and conditions.
Starting from the indoor collection…
This was a picture of how a bamboo fish trap vendor would load up his bicycle.
And in real life, it looked like this. So big and must be really heavy too – really wondered how he could balance the bike and ride it.
Heading outside now…
There was an on-going water puppet show which was conducted in Vietnamese so we couldn’t understand what was going on but we just stayed on to watch a little for the fun of it.
Overall, I liked that this museum had more visual content than reading materials (unlike Ho Chi Minh Museum) which left deeper impressions in me. Also, there was extra fun factor at the outdoor gallery where we could climb up wooden pole stairs to the stilt houses to check out the insides. The exploration experience was like walking through the countryside in an environment that was simply rustic and tranquil.
You have to add this museum into your travel itinerary. It’s definitely worth travelling to. ??