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Hoa Lo Prison, Hanoi

4.2
#3 of 38 in Historic Sites in Hanoi
Historic Site · Tourist Spot
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Nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton" by U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War, Hoa Lo Prison has seen generations of Vietnamese revolutionaries who fought against French colonialists. The prison was built by the French in 1896. By the 1930s, nearly 2,000 political prisoners were incarcerated in the cells originally constructed to hold no more than 450 inmates--in fact, hundreds of prisoners broke away over the years through the sewage system. During the 1990s, most of the prison was torn down, leaving only the gatehouse for the museum. See the notorious French guillotine, a ghastly relic of French colonial presence in Indochina. The exhibits include U.S. Senator John McCain's flight suit, which he wore when he was shot down and rescued by locals in 1967. Find out how to plan Hanoi trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.
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Hoa Lo Prison reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
10,652 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • The former French prison is a perfect place to understand more about colonial rule. The informative museum provides an often-graphic overview of French suppression of the local independence movement.....  more
    The former French prison is a perfect place to understand more about colonial rule. The informative museum provides an often-graphic overview of French suppression of the local independence movement.....  more »
  • Spent a couple of hours visiting the old prison in Hanoi Paid to hire headphones with audio description of exhibits which was well worth it and very well done A really well put together museum... 
    Spent a couple of hours visiting the old prison in Hanoi Paid to hire headphones with audio description of exhibits which was well worth it and very well done A really well put together museum...  more »
Google
  • Entrance fee was very cheap. When enter, you have the choice of getting a tour guide, listening to the audio guide, or just freely explore on your own accord. I chose to listen to the audio! The history is amazing. They actually map out a route that would take you through a decent line of story. The experience and stories from past prisoners are tragic, and it broke my heart listening and seeing the inside. There was a memorial where visitors can go in the put incense in memories of the heroes. I appreciate the people who got locked up/received death sentences while fighting for the independence of the country I was born and raised in 🤍 I had to take off 1 star because there was only one restroom...
  • This was the first thing we did in Hanoi and I really enjoyed it. You do have to pay to go in but it's not expensive (30,000 VND per person). So much history and old artifacts to see here, it's very fascinating. Also pretty horrifying to read what went on there and see the conditions in which the prisoners lived. Awful but extremely interesting. Everything was in English too so easy to follow. Definitely worth a visit.

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