Our visit to the Army Museum was a bit of a 'Brucie bonus' for me. When planning our trip to Vietnam, there was an element of compromise to be made. We only had ten days and so I couldn't dominate our time with all things Vietnam Conflict/ American War (the terminology is based on where in Vietnam you are from, as the South Vietnamese played a massive part in the conflict too). On our way from the Presidential Palace to the Temple of Literature we decided that we were in need of a refreshment (Vietnamese coffee is amazing), and just happened to find ourselves next door to the Army Museum, so why not visit it too? It would be rude not to. The museum traces the history of the Vietnamese Army from its origins to present day, and bits of it are quite cheesy, like the mock up of a jungle trail, but it is cute. They also have quite a bit of equipment left behind by the Americans like a Huey, a Chinook, a couple of tanks and APCs, but for me, the highlight was a short film that they put on regarding the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. There is also a large diorama that depicting the base at Dien Bien Phu, and as the narrator explains the battle, little LEDs light up showing where the action took place. I didn't know much about the battle prior to this, but when watching things about the siege at Khe Sanh there were many references to the similarities between the two battles, and the diorama showed that perfectly. Many other museums would benefit by following the same idea.
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