[Sorry for the long gap between posts. We were without reliable internet while in Cambodia.]
After arriving in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) we ventured out to the ‘not so popular’ Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine. Even though it may not be popular, it very well should be since it houses many important artifacts and the largest collection of traditional medicines in all of Vietnam. For the bargain price of 32,000 dong/person ($2 per/person) you get a tour guide along with your admission!
The architecture of the museum is also impressive with 6 floors, each with different types of architecture for the various exhibitions. For example, on the top floor a temple with the design elements of the ancient Cham people. Also, many of the picutes illustrating how the traditional medicines are prepared are carved into the wooden walls of the building.
The book that is open (above) is not from the 13th century but a copy, the originals are the ones below it.
Tue Tinh (14th century) and Hai Thuong Lang Ong Le Huu Trac (18th century) were well-known as the founders of Vietnam’s traditional medicine .
Many people from south Vietnam visit the north to buy this creature (animal?). We tried to find out if this is a mythical creature and/or if an actual animal of this resemblance existed, but unfortunately, we had communication problems with our guide.
Acupuncture was introduced by the Chinese and has been a part of Vietnamese traditional medicine for many centuries.
There are over 2000 types of native plants (herbs) used in their traditional medicines.
Older women chew bitter nut, which turns their teeth red and protects them from decay.
Located in District 10, getting to the museum is an easy and short taxi ride if you are near the city center (District 1). I think we spent about 50,000 dong ($2.50) to get there and even less to get back since it was later in the day and less traffic. Allow at least 2 hours here.
Please visit their website at: http://www.fitomuseum.com.vn for more information.