Monday, February 8, 2016

War Remnants Museum

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! Since it's a holiday here in the Philippines, I have some time to write about my trip to Vietnam. I still have so many pictures and things to say but let's take it one step at a time.
Our last stop for Day 1 was the War Remnants Museum (see website here). Based on the blogs that I read and based on my experience, it's one of the must-visit places when you're in Ho Chi Minh City. The Vietnam War played a major role in the history of Vietnam and in this museum you'll see different exhibits relating to it.

Different floors have different themes but the exhibit that really made an impact in me was the one showing the effects of Agent Orange. Agent Orange is a chemical/herbicide used by the US military during the Vietnam War from 1961-1971. Aerial spraying was performed in the forests and other agricultural lands to prevent the guerillas (rebels) from obtaining food and shelter but it turned out, some areas were occupied by civilian communities. Imagine that for a decade, people were exposed to this chemical and its effects were seen in the mutations or birth defects in babies born from parents exposed to it. It was found out that one of the main components of Agent Orange was contaminated with a toxic molecule. It was heartbreaking seeing all the images (for example, some children had abnormal body parts and their brain function was also affected). There were even fetuses in containers and you can clearly see the malformations. I did not take pictures because it's really hard for me to. I couldn't help but be emotional. Some babies born even in the year 2000 exhibit defects. It is no doubt that the adverse effects of Agent Orange still lingers up to this day.

After seeing the museum, I was reminded that In war, no one really wins.

I seriously felt heavy, emotional, heartbroken afterwards. I think visiting it in the afternoon was fine because I wouldn't really recommend putting it in the morning schedule. And since our spirits were down we needed something to lighten things up and I was just so glad we saw this on the way back to the hotel.

*All images were taken by Shayne
more info about Agent Orange here

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