Hoa Lo Prison

Hoa Lo Prison, Hanoi

Hoa Lo Prison
4
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Colloquially known as "Hanoi Hilton," this famous prison has been mostly torn down. A museum occupies the remaining structure.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
10,615 reviews
Excellent
3,826
Very good
4,877
Average
1,623
Poor
218
Terrible
71

N21dx
Singapore, Singapore192 contributions
Feb 2020
A very sad moment in Vietnamese History, of the events of the war and what went on in Hoa Lo Prison. Arrested US pilots called it the 'Hilton Hanoi'. You can see how prisoners were treated and how they lived in the prison cells. A good morale lesson on why we don't need wars and the why we need the whole world to leave in harmony. The tickets are 30.000 VND for entry. You can also purchase the 'Hao Lo Prison: Historical Relic' publication for just 20.000 VND. The publication contains interesting facts and pictures. There is a souvenir shop in the prison, the souvenir there cost cheaper than compared to official souvenir shops in the city.
Written December 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Claudia R
263 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
A great place to visit to understand how prisoners (both Vietnamese and Americans) were treated during their incarceration at this prison. The propaganda is interesting and pictures are moving. For an entrance fee of 30,000 VDN it’s worth it. You can also hire an audio guide for an extra 50,000 VDN.
Written February 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Guy T
London, UK680 contributions
Mar 2020 • Couples
Put it on the list of things to do whilst Hanoi.

We didn’t partake in the audio guide and it took us 1-2
Hours to get round the museum. There are plenty of boards explaining the history behind the museum and the exhibits.

You are allowed free roam on the prison & the cells and it’s both interesting and thought provoking. There are stories of some of the people held at the prison and it has been presented in a way that keeps your attention and makes you wanted to read it all.

We really enjoyed ourself at for 30,000 VND it’s definitely worth a look it’s also in walking distance to the town so easy to get to during a day tour of Hanoi.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kim G
Pacific Grove, CA3,134 contributions
Mar 2019
Written above the entry to Hoa Lo Prison are the words: "Maison Centrale", or Central House, however Vietnamese prisoners referred to it as "the Monster's Mouth". This is but the small southern section of the remaining prison more commonly referred to as the Hanoi Hilton by American POW's (prisoners of war), during the Vietnam War. In 1990, the missing portion of the prison was demolished to make way for the Hanoi Towers hotel and offices. Built by the French Colonialists in 1886-1901, the most striking sense of brutality are the scenes and literature revealing torment and torture of the Vietnamese by the French Government. The period of American captivity is "whitewashed", when the Vietnamese were in control of the prison. The visitor will feel humbled, upset and confused; nonetheless, I highly recommend a tour of this historic prison.
Written February 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sydneysider888
Sydney, Australia199 contributions
Dec 2019
Visited this prison museum in late December 2019. Only a small portion of the original jail has been preserved. I found the visit very interesting and informative, a real eye-opener. It gives an insight into Hanoi's history, through French colonial rule, local rebellion, and the Vietnam war. Of course there will be some local bias, but it sparked interest for me to look in to those historical events further after the visit. It is a fairly somber journey through the jail, but does end on a lighter note.

The price of the visit is nominal, 30,000VND or there-abouts. Probably allow about an hour or so, depends on whether or not you read all the information presented. We found it easy and cheap to travel to different sites using Grab while in Hanoi.
Written January 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Caitlyn M
Montreal, Canada10 contributions
Jan 2020 • Solo
This museum was fabulous. I learned a lot about the history of Vietnam and the the prison itself. Although it definitely is slanted towards the good of the country even taking that bias into consideration it is very interesting. I highly recommend getting the audio guide, it is worth the price.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

VickyT_TravelBug
Melbourne, Australia436 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
We spent an interesting afternoon doing the audio tour and found it very interesting and emotional.
You learn the history of the conditions the Vietnamese were kept in under the French rule and the way the Americans were treated after being captured during the vietnam war when it was referred to as the Hanoi Hilton.
A must see activity in Hanoi.
Written January 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Justnitid
Mumbai, India347 contributions
Dec 2019 • Couples
Hoa Lo prison was built by the French by taking over and displacing an entire village community. Over the years it was the place where Vietnamese freedom fighters were interred in the most inhuman conditions possible. There are lots of stories here; stories of brutality and death; and stories of heroism, like those who escaped through the sewers. The prison was also used to house American PoWs.
This prison museum is open till 5 pm. Photography is allowed; however out of respect for those who suffered here I took only 3 - one being the shadow of the guillotine.
Written March 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

joannegray
Buckinghamshire, UK632 contributions
Nov 2019
It's bizarre to read that American prisons of war were apparently kept quite comfortable and treated well... in a way almost offensive but then who's to say what's correct and what's not?!

The prison has been well kept and reflected the entire history from the point of view of the Vietnamese. It's quite eye opening and well worth a visit. I'd say an important part of the countries history.

I'd highly recommend spending the little extra on an audio guide to enhance the experience and clarify everything you are looking at.
Written March 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kibble992
Stotfold, UK56 contributions
Oct 2020 • Couples
I really did not have much of an idea of what happened in Vietnam with the French. But this prison gives such a clear picture as to what happened all those years ago which when you put into perspective, really was not long ago. The treatment that those prisoners went through to try and get independence was so tragic.
Prepare yourself for an emotional experience, it is something which really will hit you.
A very good visit and very well explained. You can have a tour guide or you can read all the plaques on the wall which are in English and watch the videos throughout which explain it all perfectly. Fantastic trip and for 30000 Vietnamese dong it's well worth it.
Written September 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Hoa Lo Prison

Hoa Lo Prison is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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