What to see
Address: 1 Nguyen Van Huyen Street
This museum is a must-see spot in your trip to Hanoi. Even without slick modern audio and presentation, the depth of the museum easily gains it a place in the Top 6 Museum in Asia. You need to visit the museum as it offers a snapshot into the diverse picture of ethnicity in Vietnam. There are artifacts and unique house styles from all over the country.
The museum project was in the partnership between the Vietnamese and French government in 1990s. As notorious as they are as colonizers, French explorers had made a significant contribution to the study of ethnology in Vietnam. As such, together with the effort to enhance the mutual relationship the museum was the fruit of French and Vietnamese developers. The structure architect behind this museum is a Tay ethnic thus incorporating the charm of ancient tribal houses into his design. Meanwhile the interior design was done by a French architect.
The display area includes the indoor exhibition and the outdoor exhibition. The indoor exhibition boasts of its unique collection of tribal artifacts from every day working tools to religious costume. The striking feature that many tourists feel impressed is its holy pole in the reception room. The pole was roof-high and was used in holy festivals of the tribes in Central Highland of Vietnam.
Nevertheless, the true bliss lies with the outdoor exhibition of the museum. The developers have collect house structures throughout Vietnam creating a leisure park full of cultural charms. The house structures include the style of the nine typical ethnicities in Vietnam-Bana, Ede, Tay, Dao, Viet, Cham, Ha Ni, Gia Rai. Among the structures are bonsai, gardens and spring with rustic beauty like they usually are in Vietnamese houses.
The left photo shows a traditional altar in a Viet house with intricate wood details. Such authentic corners make you feel like the life of thousands of Vietnamese people in thousands of years appear so vivid right in front of your eyes.
The outdoor park is of great fun as they have installation of traditional games in Vietnam such as swing pillars and balance poles. Your kids certainly will have good time there. Within the museum is a Vietnam –French restaurant where you can sit down for refreshment or a delicious dish. Go for bun bo Nam Bo if you are seeking something local. My favorite time with the museum is always the Middle Autumn Festival and the New Year festival in which more games and food are introduced. Especially the New Year festival makes it fame partly through whole-roasted pigs on open fire. Or maybe it is just me and my appetite.