The western obsession with Vietnam's turbulent 20th Century tends to overshadow the fact that the country has a history as rich and poignant as any in the region. Mandarins, invaders, warriors and mighty and now defunct empires shaped the land long before intervention from Europe and America and it is these strands that are most heavily represented at this museum. The museum – housed in an attractive pagoda-style building right next door to the city's Botanical Garden – houses an impressive array of artifacts dating right back to the Bronze Age. Indeed, the twisting tale of the nation is told pretty well here. The main exhibition charts the country's history from the initial human settlement through various dynasties and empires up until the middle of last century and the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam by Ho Chi Minh and his followers. Other sights include Khmer relics, ancient pottery and French cannons.
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