Vietnam has a long history of armed resistance to occupying armies and on a military base in the center of Da Nang, this history is on exhibit at the Ho Chi Minh and Zone 5 Military Museum. Tanks, artillery, missiles, and even fighter jets sit in the main square. Some were captured from foreign armies and reused in Vietnam’s liberation while others were sent for support by allies.
Through double doors a statue of Uncle Ho (Ho Chi Minh) talks with stone soldiers and sailors while framed photos of war heroes and bereaved mothers watch on from the walls.
The building is in simple military style and as one wanders the stairwells and exhibition rooms the somber legacy of the Central Vietnamese fight for independence is on display. The war records start from the ancient northern battles with relics like copper war drums and tapestries of elephant cavalry and run through French colonialism to the American War with mortars, machine guns, and a variety of weapons and wreckage on display.
Each wall is lined with photos of battles while diagrammed maps explain the context. For 60.000d a soldier will accompany you as a guide.
After the solemn walk through armed conflicts, the tour takes a lighter tone as visitors arrive in a well-manicured garden where balustrades surround a pond of fish next to an exact replica of Ho Chi Minh’s teak stilted home built for Central Vietnamese people who wanted to visit him but could not afford the trip to Hanoi.
The garden pathway leads to the next building, dedicated to the life and legacy of Uncle Ho. Exhibits begin with a replica of his childhood bedroom and through his many struggles and achievements in service of his beloved Vietnam. It also exhibits gifts showing the admiration of the locals of Zone 5 for the revered leader.
Vietnam and its military have long fought for independence and walking through the Zone 5 Military Museum is a reminder of this history that shaped the country and people of modern Vietnam.
Address: 3 Duy Tan, Da Nang
Phone: 0511 361 5982 / 625 1268
Business Hours: 7.30am to 4.30pm everyday
Entrance Fee: 60.000 VND (free tour guide for groups of three or more)