The Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine
If you are interested in traditional Vietnamese medicine, you should not miss the FITO Museum in Saigon.
This small museum is the first one in the country devoted to traditional Vietnamese medicine. Founded in 2003, it opened to the public in 2007. In our opinion, it is really worth the visit.
Traditional medicine is part of the cultural heritage of Vietnam and was at the time based on interactionsbetween the two well-known schools of Chinese & Vietnamese medicine.
Historical evidences indicate that from the second century BC, during the Hung Vuong dynasty, Vietnamese people knew how to use hundreds of plants for medicinal purposes. According to the Ministry of Health, there are now 1,800 plants in Vietnam used for medicinal purposes.
The museum is laid out in a Vietnamese house decorated with gorgeous carved wooden interior. It presents many documents, books, ancient drawings and old utensils, tools (medical herb slicers & boat-shaped grinders), wine jars and pots. You can find on display nearly 3,000 items dating back to the Stone Age.
At the beginning of your visit, you can watch a short documentary about the history of medicine.
As a reminder, the greatest Vietnamese scientists Tue Tinh (14th century) and Hải Thượng Lãn Ông – also known as Le Huu Trac – (18th century) are considered as the medical founders of Vietnam’s traditional medicine.
They set the standards and in some diseases, identified the cures and the principles of care that in some cases are still in use today. For example: chewing betel could prevent tooth decay, eating ginger can act as an anti-cold and flu treatment, and “linh chi” mushroom (lingzhi) is still known and used as a longevity booster.
You can visit the FITO museum after your Urban Tales adventure in Saigon, as it is not very far from the location where the game ends. It takes approximately 15mn by taxi or motorbike to get there.
More info on the museum: http://fitomuseum.com.vn/
Opening hours: 8:30am to 5pm. Entrance fees: 120,000 VND
Address is: 41 Hoàng Dư Khương Phường 12 Quận 10 HCMC