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“know your history before you go”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Hoa Lo Prison

Hoa Lo Prison
Book In Advance
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$48.00*
and up
Ho Chi Minh's Hanoi Small Group Adventure Tour
Ranked #15 of 277 things to do in Hanoi
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Colloquially known as "Hanoi Hilton," this famous prison has been mostly torn down. A museum occupies the remaining structure.
Moreno Valley, California
Level Contributor
39 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“know your history before you go”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2014

One needs to know the history of French Indochina and the history of the American Vietnam war before one goes to visit the maison centrale. The Hoa Lo prison gives a side of history filled with propaganda which is sometimes difficult to stomach. The French are depicted as cruel and evil, the American pilots emprisoned at Hoa Lo as immature little boys who like to play basketball and have fun. And the Vietnamese as either innocent victims of French torture or as fun-loving buddies who made the stay of the American pilots at Hoa Lo an amusing recreation camp. Pull aside the curtain of propaganda, and the visit of Hoa Lo is more than interesting. The building is well-preserved and one can get a feel of history in it. The prison is big and full of narrow alleys, a big courtyard and an upper floor. The guillotine is better preserved than the one at the Conciergerie in Paris. The open book store in the courtyard has a good choice of books on Vietnam. The entrance fee is 25,000 dong and I stayed for 2 hours to see and read all.

Visited April 2014
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1 Thank Frauke Elisabet... R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Well worth for only 20,000 VND”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2014

Entrance fee is only 20,000 VND per person and the visit was worth every dong.

Nice exhibits providing insights into the lives of prisoners during two periods (1. during the French colonization and 2. during the Vietnam war).

Visit takes around an hour so if you have some time to kill (or even if you don't), do head over and you will most likely not regret it.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank WilsonLim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thames, New Zealand
Level Contributor
51 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“THis is worth a visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2014

Well worth a visit. As noted in the other reviews, there is some propaganda to work through, however the reality of the place is stark and clearly shows areas of historic significance. Not expensive, and can be visited quickly if time is short.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank HayesNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Georgia
Level Contributor
284 reviews
86 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Interesting”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2014

Like all things war related you will be given two sides to the story, the stories here are some I have never heard. It was interesting and sad too, but is worth spending time there

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Di222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Interesting insight to Vietnamese History”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2014

Given the nature of the subject it is quite harrowing to see and be in the place of such tourture, nevertheless this museum is an important part of the histroy of the city and the country, and is definitley worth an hour of your time to learn more about it. I went with a local student guide and I think it really helped to have someone explain and elborate on displays.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank chuckle15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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