Bored with tourist spots in Vietnam? Get tooled up at British-run weapons museum

By Phuoc Tuan   August 14, 2016 | 03:20 pm GMT+7

Thousands of guns made hundreds of years are on display in Vietnam’s largest private museum.

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Located at 98 Tran Hung Dao Street in the coastal resort town of Vung Tau, around 120 kilometers (75 miles) to the northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, the museum was opened four months ago by a 70-year-old British man named Robert Taylor.

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The museum has three sections with 2,500 artifacts including guns, swords, crossbows and military uniforms. Around 1,500 artifacts are handguns and rifles made in England, Germany, France, the U.S., Italy and the Netherlands 200-300 years ago.

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Robert Taylor has been collecting these weapons for more than 50 years. He has a special passion for handguns that were used by soldiers in wars. Taylor said when he was 18, he spent a sum of money equivalent to $80 at present buying a 100-year-old sword. Later, he became an engineer and had many chances to work in foreign countries, so he could connect with people who had the same passion as him. He used most of his salary to buy his favorite items.

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In the picture is a gun the U.S cowboys often used to challenge each other.

"To buy these old guns, Robert Taylor has to travel to many countries and hunt for them. The older a gun is, the more expensive it is," a museum guide said.

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In 1996, Robert Taylor began preparing papers to ask for approval from local authorities to open his private museum. Four years later, he sold his assets in the U.K. and set up the museum after getting the green light. However, it was not until 2012 that the museum opened.

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The museum has many exquisite weapons on display that were owned by the nobility or famous generals. In the picture is an African rifle from the nineteenth century.

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In addition to the guns, the museum also exhibits other types of weapons like crossbows and swords.

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An axe made in Switzerland in 1805.

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An orignal gun from World War II.

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Vietnamese muskets from the nineteenth century.

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A 14th century hand-held cannon made in northern Vietnam.

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The museum also has hundreds of European uniforms from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In 2011, the museum was recognized as Vietnam's largest private weapons museum.

Taylor said he hoped the collection would bring excitement to visitors and become a focal spot for tourism in Vung Tau, which he has considered his second home.

Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan