Hoa Lo Prison

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1 Hoa Lo Street, Hanoi, Vietnam
Hoa Lo Prison - John Mc Cain's pilot uniform
Hoa Lo Prison - John Mc Cain's pilot uniform
Hoa Lo Prison - John Mc Cain's pilot uniform
Hoa Lo Prison - John Mc Cain's pilot uniform

Hoa Lo Prison Hanoi Reviews

SamsTravels SamsTrav…
56 reviews
Not much to it. Oct 02, 2014
I was pretty disappointed when I visited Han la Prison. It's pretty small and pretty average really. I think there are a lot better sights to see instead personally and I love going to places like this usually. Kind of glad I saw it, but wouldn't have been too upset had I missed out. Overall I would say this was middle of the road for an attraction and that if you are on a tight schedule, make time for other things instead like more time in Haylong Bay for example.
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christl3 christl3
171 reviews
Blast into the Past Oct 31, 2012
I enjoyed the museum. It is based in the part of the prison that still exists. The exterior facade still looks like it would have looked when it was first built in the late 1800s by the French colonists to house the subversive members of the Vietnamese resistance/independence movement.

The place where the prison now stands was once a very productive pottery-making village full of industrious Hanoi locals. When the French built the prison they had to move all of these people to other parts of the city.

It goes through the type of treatment and living conditions the male and female Vietnamese political prisoners would have endured during their incarceration. After the French left Vietnam the prison was used to keep American pilots who were shot down during the Vietnamese war.

Throughout the whole museum very biased words such as barbaric, unfair, cruel were used in relation to the French people who ran the prison. Then it later stressed how the American soldiers were only treated fairly and justly during their stay and then returned to their families after the war. John Mc Cain, the politician who ran against President Obama in the 2008 presidential elections was incarcerated there during the Vietnam war and then later returned on a visit. Also, one of the American men who was kept there became the first American ambassador to Vietnam after he was returned home.

In this case, i believe the Vietnamese were probably fair towards the Americans considering these people seemed to have no nightmareish memories of their time there.

Overall i found the museum good. It was very biased though which i did not agree with.
John Mc Cain's pilot uniform
Vipin Vipin
691 reviews
Prison dubbed the Hanoi Hilton Mar 07, 2010
Dubbed the Hanoi Hilton, this historic prison in Hanoi housed many prisoners.

Built by the French colonists in the nineteenth century, the prison housed many political prisoners. The atmosphere is very intense and the prison cells can be viewed. A guillotine is also viewable and is just metres away from the cells. The information and atmosphere is very sad and heartbreaking, especially concerning the women prisoners who were treated poorly.

The prisons were also used during the Vietnam War, and the American POWs who were kept there in really basic conditions were quick to rename it jokingly as the Hanoi Hilton. Its most famous resident must be the presidential candidate John McCain, who spent over five years there.

Apart from the building itself, you can visit the small garden and see a decent amount of artefacts which relate to prison life for the people who were kept there. There is also a nice collection of photographs and a heart moving film about the Vietnam War too.

The visit is sad but really insightful and thought-provoking. It's worth visiting if you can.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Vipin says:
thanks very much! nope, no pictures sadly. back in march, i wasn't much of a photographer and my SEA blog has very few pics from each day! i kept a brief journal though, and this is where the details are coming back from!
Posted on: Jan 02, 2011
wagslikeadog says:
Nice review, V. You didn't bring a camera with you that day though, or are they on their way...? Cheers
Posted on: Jan 02, 2011

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