Built in a classic pagoda style, this very attractive museum, also known as Bao Tang Lich Su, contains a vast collection of artifacts, spanning almost the entire history of Vietnam. Relics from the beginning of the nation’s cultural evolution can be seen in the form of prehistoric implements and tools. These are followed by bronze artifacts from the Hung Kings era. Standout exhibits include bronze drums belonging to the Dong Son civilization, and tokens from the Oc Eo culture, including a 2ndcentury AD Roman coin.
Farther on are remnants belonging to the Nguyen Dynasty, with a rich collection of garments and jewelry. Also on display are numerous Cham and Khmer relics, such as a stone lingam and ceramics. A prominent exhibit is that of a mummy dating back to 1869. Somewhat out of place, although interesting, is the daily scheduled water puppet show. The museum is set on the expansive and scenic grounds of the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden, which provide an ideal setting for a relaxing meander.