Instead of spending months travelling far and wide to learn about the cultural identities of Vietnam’s diverse ethnic groups, tourists only need spend two hours at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi.

Founded in 1997, the museum is preserving 29,000 exhibits, including around 25,000 on the 54 Vietnamese ethnic communities which reflect every aspect of their tangible and intangible culture.

Since its establishment, the museum has been perhaps the highlight of Vietnam’s museum system and a prestigious cultural destination for visitors.

The museum has welcomed over 3.2 million domestic and foreign tourists thanks to varied activities such as cultural heritage preservation and traditional folk music performances.

Vu Quang Trong, Director of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, said " The museum is special at featuring the tangible and intangible culture of Vietnamese ethnic groups. Moreover, we often hold traditional performances and introduce folk games to visitors."

Notably, many ethnic people from different localities are invited to introduce their cultural identities to visitors at the museum, partly helping raise public awareness of their cultural values, he added.

In addition to displaying historical and traditional items, the museum connects these artefacts with modern issues by organising over 100 exhibitions to give visitors an overall cultural outlook.

People visit not only for entertainment but also to study the history and multicultural identities of each ethnic group thanks to directly observing exhibits displayed at the museum instead of in books.

The museum was cited among the most attractive tourist destinations in Hanoi for 2012 by the tourism website of This year, the destination ranked sixth among the 25 most attractive museums in Asia.-VNA