In this travel guide, I share helpful information to plan your trip to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.
You’ll know tips on how to get there, things to see, opening hours, ticket prices, and more.
About Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology was designed by the architect Ha Duc Linh, a member of the Tày ethnic group, and opened in 1997.
It has an overall area of more than 4 hectares and three main exhibition areas: the exhibition area in the Drum Dong building, the outdoor exhibition area, and the Southeast Asian exhibition area.
The museum offers an excellent view of the customs and habits of 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam with various unique cultural features.
You can find artifacts in different categories such as clothing, jewelry, weapons, musical instruments, religion, beliefs, and many other spiritual activities.
This museum preserves Vietnam’s historical and cultural values from the wedding ceremony and burial to daily life.
Things to see and do at Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
1. Trong Dong Building
Trong Dong building occupies the entire 2-story building with an area of up to 25000m2.
The shape of this building is modeled after the bronze drum – the symbol of Vietnamese civilization.
On the first floor, you can find more than 15,000 artifacts and 42,000 photos depicting daily life or ritual practices such as funerals, weddings, and items of each ethnic group.
The exhibits displayed here are translated into Vietnamese, English, and French.
On the 2nd floor, there are exhibitions with different themes changing from year to year.
2. Outdoor display area
The outdoor exhibition area is my favorite spot.
The garden displays several house models of ethnic groups, such as Gia Rai’s grave house, Hmong roofed house, Ede house.
3. Southeast Asia exhibition area
This kite-shaped building displays artifacts and images of the culture of Southeast Asia and countries around the world with the theme “A glimpse of Asia and Around the World.”
4. Water Puppet Show
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology also organizes many special art performances such as water puppet shows, cultural activities, or folk festivals on weekends.
The theme of water puppetry is related to stories in the daily life and activities of ethnic groups. Ticket price: 90,000 VND/adult and 70,000 VND/child.
Currently, the ticket price to visit the Museum of Ethnology is as follows:
- Adult: 40,000 VND
- University students: 15,000 VND
- Elementary to Highschool students: 10,000 VND/time
- Elderly people, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities: 50% discount on ticket price
- Children under 6 years old, people with severe disabilities, ICOM cards, journalists’ cards, sponsors: Free.
You can also book guides in Vietnamese, English, and French. Here is the price for the service packages:
- In-house interpretation (in Vietnamese): 50,000 VND
- Outdoor interpretation (in Vietnamese): 50,000 VND
- Entire museum (in Vietnamese): 100,000 VND
- In-house interpretation (English or French): 100,000 VND
The museum is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday. It is closed every Monday and Lunar New Year.
How to get to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology?
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is located on Nguyen Van Huyen Street, Cau Giay, about 8km from the center of Hanoi.
You can easily get here by car, motorbike, taxi, or bus. I recommend using Grab to travel around Hanoi.
If you plan to go by bus, you can check the bus schedule below:
Bus No. 12 (Nghia Do Park – Dai Ang)
- Operating hours: 05:00 – 21:00
- Ticket price: 7,000 VND/ticket
- The time interval between buses: 12 – 20 minutes/trip
Bus No. 07 (Cau Giay – Noi Bai)
- Operating hours: 05:00 – 22:30
- Ticket price: 8,000 VND/ticket
- The time interval between buses: 3 – 20 minutes/trip
- When taking pictures in the gallery, do not use flash.
- Do not sit on or touch the artifacts displayed here
- There’s no storage in the museum, so you should only bring a small bag
- Your entrance ticket already includes a parking ticket. So, when you go through the main gate, look for a parking space (on the left-hand side).
- You can find souvenirs near the main gate: tapes, publications, keychains, brocades, pictures about Vietnamese culture.