Through the wartime in Vietnam, the colonists not only cause the big sow, disastrous consequences for Vietnamese but also leave behind the prisons – the trace for their crimes. These prisons are well-known as the hell on the earth with many terrible tortures to the Vietnamese lovers in the wars.

In this article, Travel Sense Asia will present five terrible prisons in Vietnam that tourists should visit most due to their severe past.

Son La Prison

Son La prison is the first name of the terrible prison that was constructed by French colonists in 1908 and located in the Northwest of Vietnam. Son La prison is where the Vietnamese political prisoners are killed gradually by the disease resulted from the severe weather there. There is a total of 1007 political prisoners there, many of whom are the leaders of the Vietnamese revolutionary.

When visiting Son La prison, the tourists will have chances to observe hundreds of traces and instruments of torture remaining such as punishment cell, two-tray jail, sharp pegging tables which are the lively shreds of evidence for the War crime of evaders. Therefore, you can imagine a part of the harsh forms of the Vietnamese political captives there.

Venue: Khau Ca hill, Group 9, To Hieu Ward, Son La City

Hoa Lo Prison

Built-in 1896, Hoa Lo prison was voted as one of the scariest attractions in Southeast Asia by CNN; even the name “Hoa Lo” which means “fiery furnace” or “Hell’s hole” also depicts its savage to the prisoners there. In the invasion, the French colonists were built in Hanoi capital to capture the Vietnamese political prisoners who are the core team of the warfighting against the French invasion. After that, it had become the prison for American pilots in the invasive war of America in Vietnam which the American prisoners call sarcastically “Hanoi Hilton”.

This prison is famous for kinds of cruel tortures toward the Vietnamese revolutionary soldiers. The soldiers were housed there and starved and tortured until death by equipment that tourists can observe when visiting it now. Especially, there is valuable evidence that can help tourists imagine the ruthless crime of French colonists; that is the guillotine machine that was used to cut the heads of Vietnamese revolutionaries. Until now, the guillotine machine is still exhibited in the Hoa Lo prison as a reminder about the crime of colonists to Vietnam as well as the Vietnamese sow of losing relatives in the wartime.

hanoi (27)

Venue: No.1, Hoa Lo Street, Tran Hung Dao Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi City.

Thua Phu Prison

Different from two prisons above built by the French, Thua Phu had been constructed first with the aim of the residence of the Nguyen marine. Until 1899, the French colonists and government appropriated it and transform it into the main prison of the Thua Thien Hue area. Thua Phu prison housed many famous names of the Vietnamese revolutionary such as the Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap and many professors who participated in the Xo Viet Nghe Tinh high against French colonists and protecting the freedom of Vietnam.

Venue: No.1, Le Lai Street, Vinh Ninh Ward, Hue City.

Con Dao Prison

Located in an isolated island, Con Dao prison is known as “the hell on earth” where thousands of political prisoners as well as the Vietnamese soldiers in two wars against French and American colonists were captured. The Vietnamese prisoners were shackled and captured in naked space which was actually a toilet room for hundreds of prisoners and was abused and tortured brutally to confess the important secret of the Vietnamese General-priority party. Many of them were inflected in wounds and some were cut off the part of their body because of the inflection.

Traveling to Con Dao prison, you will observe the lively evidence such as the “tiger cage” – the haunt of many Vietnamese prisoners in Con Da and be told about the historical stories about heroes who denied leaking the important secrets despite the severe tortures of the French and American colonists.

Venue: Con Son Island, Con Dao Archipelago, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province

Phu Quoc Prison

Lying on Phu Quoc Island, Phu Quoc prison called “Coconut tree prison” is the jail of about 40,000 Vietnamese soldiers in the anti – American and French resistance wars with brutal tortures. According to a statistic recorded, there were more than 4,000 prisoners dying in jail and many were disabled for the rest of their life from July 1967 to January 1973. The French and American colonists not only abused the Vietnamese prisons with bludgeons, the body of the gun but also various savage tortures such as capturing in “tiger cage”, rolling inside the spiked cage, biting by pestle, locking in the iron keg, burning alive, and may severe activities.

When traveling to Phu Quoc jail, you will see the two-story gallery exhibiting the instruments of torture used their and outside area displaying items remaining the location from the past. Many foreign tourists to Phu Quoc prison after hearing the historical stories of this prison seemed angry with the crime of French and American colonists to Vietnamese prisoners there. We believe that people seeing the lively pieces of evidence there feel admired the bravery as well as the patriotic spirit of Vietnamese prisoners and the Vietnamese in two big wars to protecting the freedom for their country.

Venue: An Thoi Town, the north of Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province.

indochina travel guide

thuy trangTracy Luo

After my long trips to the strange lands, I really understand the meaning of the Alfred D’Souza’s quote ‘Happiness is a journey, not a destination’. My happiness is journeys that let me explore the new lands, new features of the culture there and new colors in your soul and now I want to share this happiness with you through my article about my experience in the trips. Hope that they will give useful things to your next trip…


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