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Hoa Lo Prison

1 Hoa Lo St | Phu Khanh village, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam
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As featured in 3 days in Hanoi
Ranked #15 of 95 attractions in Hanoi
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Type: Historic Sites
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Traveler Description: This recommendation to travelers to Hanoi is a new book published by Yale University Southeast Asia Studies called Hoa Lo/Hanoi Hilton Stories.   The... more »
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English first
Villafranca Padovana, Italy
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014 NEW

This is one place that has to be visited albeit a little depressing. The conditions of the prisoners was terrible and there is still the guillotine which they used to execute prisoners. There are lots of photos of how it was with explanations of the different conditions for the Americans and Viets. It's a place which is cheerless but has... More

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Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
12 attraction reviews
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014 NEW

As an American who grew up hearing tales of the "Hanoi Hilton," this was number one on my sightseeing list. You'll see John McCain's flight suit and other artifacts of the American pilots who were confined here, but the focus of the exhibit is on the French colonial period when the prisoners were Vietnamese who schooled each other on Communism... More

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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014 NEW

We hadnt planned on going here on our walking tour of the museums in hanoi but it turned out to be very interesting... well worth the visit

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
11 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014 NEW

This museum has an interesting (albeit sad) exhibition mostly of the political prisoners during colonial times. You'll see the original prison cells and some personal items that the more famous prisoners used. The museum is well-maintained and overall a very interesting experience although a lot of information wasn't translated into English, which was a bit disappointing.

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Birmingham, United Kingdom
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 NEW

Wasn't sure what to expect given mixed reviews but we found it very interesting. It looks at the uses of the prison by the French and the Vietnamese. Most things have an explanation/are translated into English making it easier to understand. Whilst the phrasing of the display boards is a little one sided, it doesn't detract from the experience. Well... More

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Disneyland Paris, France
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014 NEW

I went in this place having absolutely no idea of what it was (except a prison, of course). Contrary to other reviews, I never felt English information was missing. Many places uses mannequin to show how the prisoners were tied inside the prison. Just be warned that some places inside can be really hard to see for some people. I've... More

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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014 NEW

The visual displays at this prison were great and gave an insight into the life of the prisoners, however most of the written information was in Vietnamese only with very little English so it was difficult to grasp a full understanding of the history the occurred here. Keep in mind that TripAdvisor states there is no fee as when we... More

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Perth, Australia
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014 NEW

It was definitely a good experience to come to Hoa Lo Prison to learn more about the Vietnamese resistance against the French. Not all plaques are in English however, with some only being in French or Vietnamese (although most also have English). What we weren't expecting was the bias against the American soldiers which was highly evident in the last... More

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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
29 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014 NEW

An interesting prison that gives you a mental image of what these prisoners may have gone through. I enjoyed seeing the holding cells and mannequins which represented prisoners. They also have lots of artefacts on display like a guillotine, old clothes and other things. Definitely recommended if you have time.

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Brisbane, Australia
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014 NEW

This was a very educational look into life in a prison in Vietnam as well as a look at how the American POWs were treated during their time in Vietnam. It is a look at how lucky they were in how they were treated compared to the prisoners that had stayed there previously.

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