Out in the suburbs of Hanoi on Nguyen Van Huyen, a couple of kilometres west of West Lake, the Museum of Ethnology is a bit of a way out, and best visited with a rented vehicle, although it more than repays the effort, particularly if you’ll be visiting any of the minority areas. Spread across two floors, the displays are well presented and there’s a fair amount of information in English on all the major ethnic groups. Musical instruments, games, traditional dress and other domestic items that fill the displays are brought to life through musical recordings, photos and plenty of life-size models, as well as captivating videos of festivals and shamanistic rites. This wealth of creativity amply illustrates some of the difficulties ethnologists are up against – the museum also acts as a research institute charged with producing ethnologies for Vietnam’s 54 main groups plus their confusion of sub-groups. The grounds contain a collection of minority houses relocated from all over Vietnam, dominated by a beautiful example of a Bahnar communal house.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Vietnam features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
Why Da Nang is Vietnam's new foodie hotspot

Why Da Nang is Vietnam's new foodie hotspot

Da Nang has long been missed off Vietnam’s well-trodden tourist trail. Those that do visit tend only to stop by for a day, spending their time basking on the…

10 Oct 2017 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
The 20 best beaches in Vietnam

The 20 best beaches in Vietnam

With more than 2000 miles of coastline, Vietnam brims with secluded coves, white sands and waters fit for snorkelling. For days spent basking on sun-baked str…

22 Sep 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook