When it comes to museums and it's content on history, photos, documents and artefacts the War Remnants Museum in Saigon, Vietnam would have to be the most brutal, eye opening and confronting of them all. Read on if you wish, but please be warned, what you are about to see is not pleasant.
Entering the museum you will see on display many military vehicles including all sorts of tanks and jets and examples of artillery. We first entered a side section of the museum that had examples or torture equipment including the "Tiger Cage" which was weaved by interlacing barbed wire around and on the top of it. These cages were placed outside and kept up to 5 prisoners in it. Depending on the size of the cage, these prisoners had to lie on sandy soil or barbed wire.
There were many techniques of torture used against prisoners including disembodying the prisoner's teeth, removing toe nails and finger nails, burning genitals, breaking kneecaps and burying prisoner's alive just to name a few.
I thought these methods of torture were horrific, things far more gruesome were still yet to be seen inside. Entering the museum is just like any other, there's many glass cabinets of historical artefacts including sculptures, weapons and artillery and on the walls were framed documents and photographs, not so bad right? On closer inspection of these photographs however, are the most confronting examples of the effects from war I have ever seen. These photographs are at their most raw and truest form, there has been no manipulating of these photos and there is no blurring to cover the destruction. Some of these photos can only be seen at the War Remnants Museum and they tell the frightening story of the war relating to the Vietnam War and the Indochina War involving the French colonialists.
Being a photographer I go by the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words" and so, you will see below a small handful of the photos displayed within the museum but I won't explain them to you, in all honesty I don't think I really can, I was left speechless, I felt so many emotions, mostly anger and sadness. I will warn you again, what you are about to see is very distressing content.
Another devastating thing to come out of this battle was the use of Agent Orange. This was a powerful herbicide used by the US military forces during Vietnam War to eliminate forest cover and crops for North Vietnam and Viet Cong troops. Agent Orange did not effect its victims immediately. The first generation who were exposed developed cancers but it was the future generations that also copped this unfortunate fate.
Thousands of people have suffered birth defects including spina bifida, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and deformed limbs. Even though Agent Orange was used in the Vietnam War from 1961 - 1971, to this day, people are still effected by this terrible chemical.
Just like anybody with a disability, they don't let their disability define who they are and they still go on to live a fulfilling life. Within the museum there is a room where there are a small handful of people who have suffered the effects of Agent Orange who demonstrate that they won't let their disabilities stop them from showing off their skills and how they talented they are. The walls are covered in artworks done by children and adults, one man was born without eyes but he plays the keyboard flawlessly and there was another man confined to a wheelchair due to limb deformation but he created these gorgeous animal keychains made from tiny beads and other little trinkets.
Hours: Monday - Sunday from 7:30am - 6pm