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“Too much information”

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
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$58.00*
and up
Full-Day Hanoi City Tour
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$36.00*
and up
Hanoi City Full-Day Tour
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$45.00*
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Private Hanoi Full-Day City Tour with Cyclo Ride
Ranked #12 of 284 things to do in Hanoi
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a unit under Vietnam Academy of Scocial Sciences. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is both a research centre and a public museum exhibiting the ethnic groups of Vietnam. The mission of the Museum is scientific research, collection, documentation, conservation, exhibition and preserving the cultural and historic patrimony of the nation's different ethnic groups. The museum also serves to guide research, conservation, and technology that are specific to the work of an ethnographic museum.
Reviewed August 13, 2014

Too much information but still a must to cover all the different ethnicity of Vietnam. The outdoor garden was a lovely visit.

Thank Aileen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 12, 2014

Very interesting museum, a must whenever you visit Hanoi. Very informative, with short movies, maps, nice set up pertaining to each minority

Thank Bonita B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2014

I spent four and a half hours being fascinated at this museum.

The best part is the outside reconstruction of different styles of traditional living (love the matrilineal tribes with breast decorations!) behind the main building. Go there first! You walk around and visit Cham, Ede, Viet, etc. houses, communal areas, tombs. It is peaceful (there are some sleeping watchpeople but they do not have a spiel) - the whole architecture is simple wood and bamboo and strikingly austere interiors, with straw mats for bedding and limited privacy in most cases. The high-quality descriptions on the walls (French, English, Vietnames) give a good sense of some of the customs. The exhibits have been developed with support from Nordic countries and France and are world-class. Probably a good introduction to visit tribal areas and unmissable if your itinerary does not allow such a visit. The whole place is peaceful, unrushed, with no tourist folk costume or dance displays.

Inside is almost equally wonderful. If nothing else, admire the ceremonial totem pole in the hallway. The two levels are full of costumes, baskets, tools, and good information on important customs and ceremonies (with some video) of the different ethnic groups.

I have also visited the Ethnological Museum in Saigon and the Cham museum in Da Nang. This was a favourite by far, although the Cham sculptures are also worth seeing. Nice to see e.g. a Cham house after seeing Cham sculpture in Da nang and Cham ruins in My Son near Hoi An - it all comes together.

Tips:
One tomb is very explicit - may make you blush!
Some of the outside houses may be difficult to enter for those with restricted mobility. The 'staircases' carved out of a log are really fun if you have a head for heights.
Toilets outside among the most pristine I have seen in the country. Accessible, too, I think.
If it gets too hot, you can head for the over-air-conditioned cafe block near the exit.
If you get hungry or need water, there is a reasonable restaurant run by students of a catering/serving school. My pho was a little watered-down but served at the same price as on the street!
The museum is not near the lake in the centre of town - you need to take a taxi.
The gift shop looked nice but alas it was too late to visit.

Would visit again in a flash. Really stayed with me.

1  Thank Discovering_the_new
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2014

Will take all of three hours if you want to do it justice. Ethnic costumes, crafts, maps, histories, ceramics, art. All of Vietnam in a nutshell, and then there are life-sized houses of each minority built in the park - well worth the visit.

Thank ausielad2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2014

Provided a good sense for the people of Vietnam. Interesting displays. If you are short on time though, you can skip it.

Thank G P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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