Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is one of the largest and undoubtedly the most interesting attractions in Hanoi and Vietnam.
Address: On Nguyen Van Huyen Street in the Cau Giay district of Hanoi about 8km away from the centre of town.
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi offers an insight into the 54 different ethnic groups of Vietnam in an effort to preserve cultural heritage and promote socio-cultural diversity within the country.
The museum is packed full of information detailing traditional Vietnamese ways of life, from religious events to the symbolic rituals of all the Vietnamese ethnic groups, providing a rich tapestry of the culture melting pot existing in Vietnam. The exhibition hall features everyday objects representing each group, a research centre, library and auditorium.
The outdoor display area exhibits a variety of Vietnamese homes as full-scale replicas, with great attention paid to the varying architectural styles set within the authentic and tranquil gardens. In addition, there are also leisure pursuits on display including traditional water puppet theatre and calligraphy. The future aim of the museum is to also showcase the many cultural practices and civilisations across Southeast Asia.
The museum has over 15,000 artefacts including photographs and other multi-media such as audiotapes. Its indoor exhibition space can be viewed via a virtual tour which includes the Viet, Muong, Tho, Chut, Tav, Thai, Ka Dai, H’Mong-Dao, Tang, San Dui, Ngai, Mon-Khmer, Nam-Dao, Cham, Hoa and Khmer ethnic groups. There are priceless antiques on display alongside everyday objects such as pipes, baskets and knives. Expect to see a wide range of interesting items on display at the museum with clothes, jewellery and items relating to weddings, funeral ceremonies and other spiritual rituals also exhibited across the 54 communities offering an incomparable glimpse of their history, heritage and cultural identity.
The outdoor area presents a range of traditional homes including a Tay stilt house and a Viet house complete with indigenous foliage, each separated by a small stream and reached via little bridges. One of the main features of the museum is to present the artefacts in a simple manner so that visitors can enjoy them without being overwhelmed by detail. The museum is suitable for children and all documents and display signs throughout have been translated into French and English.