The Duc Thanh School and Ho Chi Minh Museum, Phan Thiet
Visit the unique historical museum at the site of Ho Chi Minh's former house and Duc Thanh School where he taught.
Duc Thanh School in Thanh Duc Hamlet, Number 39, Trung Nhi Street, Phan Thiet City, was built in 1907 by patriotic local scholars who hoped to recreate the success of the Hanoi Free School. It is located near the city market. Nguyen Trong Loi and Nguyen Quy Anh; sons of poet Nguyen Thong managed the school when Ho Chi Minh was present. In 1910, Nguyen Tat Thanh (later President Ho Chi Minh) stayed and taught Chinese, Vietnamese and martial arts to the second class at Duc Thanh School. Subjects at the school also included social and natural sciences, art and physical education. The school had about 60 pupils and 7 teachers. A bookstore was located nearby to support the school and promote reformist ideas.
Thanh was a popular teacher and treated his students and peers with respect. He taught using the Socratic method and introduced the ideas of Voltaire, Montesquieu and Rousseau to his students. He was very accessible to his students and frequently led nature and historical walks along the river banks and in the forests.
In February 1911, Thanh secretly left the school for Saigon, likely to meet his father. French officials arrived shortly after his disappearance and temporarily closed the school, which eventually fell to ruin in 1912.
Four former students of Thanh (Ho Chi Minh) are still living: Dr. Nguyen Quy Phau, Dr. Nguyen Kim Chi, Mr. Tu Truong Phung, and Mr. Nguyen Dang Lau. After the war, they set out to rebuild the school in their teacher's memory from the years 1978 to 1980. Ngu house was built in 1906 and since 1908 it has been used as the pupils' dormitory. It was also restored at the same time as the school.
At present, the School has preserved many objects that relate to the life Ho Chi Minh, such as a writing table, an ink-slab, a wooden bed, etc. The carambola tree and the well are also points of interest.
"Ngoa-du-sao" was Mr. Nguyen Thong's house; built in 1880. Thanh (Ho Chi Minh) read books and prepared his lessons at Ngoa-Du-Sao. Artifacts at the house include a set of sofas, a wooden bed, a high desk, a wardrobe, a wooden container of documents, an ink grinding, ink stone, 3 small glasses, and an ashtray.
The Ho Chi Minh Museum was built in 1986 at the site of his former home. It is divided into two parts: the memorial and flower gardens, and the two-storey buildings with showrooms displaying objects that relate to the life of Ho Chi Minh and history of Phan Thiet. It also contains preserved specimens of local wildlife and large squid. The museum is on a lovely spot overlooking the Ca Ty River.