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Hỏa Lò Prison (Vietnamese: [hwa᷉ː lɔ̂]) was a prison used by the French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S. Prisoners of War during the Vietnam War. During this later period it was known to American POWs as the Hanoi Hilton. The prison was demolished during the 1990s, although the gatehouse remains as a museum.
|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|
An incredibly eye-opening and important place to visit to learn some history of the US-Vietnam War. Colloquially known as the Hanoi Hilton, the prison is in really good condition and easy to navigate. There are heaps of propaganda of anti USA commentary around but still worth a look. You can also check out Senator John Mccain's old flight suit and gear.
Spent an insightful 2 hours here reading about the French colonial era and it's more recent use in the Vietnamese war. Really good value for money, it cost next to nothing for entry for 2 and a guidebook (although most of the information is just copied from plaques around the prison). Obviously history is written by the victors so it's worth doing your own research if this is a subject that interests you.
One of the best museums in Hanoi. The price little bit costly. But you’ll get the guide book and history of the museum. Worthy. You can use your google maps to get there or better us grab car/grab bike. The museum not really big. But they arrange the museum very nice. Bring your own snacks and water. They have small park at the back side. Please do not do the violence action at the museum area. Keep the cleanliness.
Wonderful experience. We were actually late to the museum and they were closing. But had asked if we could use their toilets anyway. Afterwards, the curator let us have a quick look around, free of charge. I don't recommend this way to get in for everyone.... But it was really kind of them. We had quick look at the historical building. Very interesting and sad way to treat prisoners here. You'll also find senator john McCain was a prisoner here at one point.
Standard Vietnamese museum experience - do not come expecting real historical depth. You are presented with some light information about the building before the French used it as a prison, then some accounts of how the French kept and killed political prisoners. There is generally better information available on Wikipedia but it is nice to actually see the prison itself. The usual strange mannequins are here too. I know this is Vietnam and that Vietnam won the war, etc., but there is absolutely no parallel drawn between the atrocities the French commited and the atrocities the Northern Vietnamese commited as soon as the prison changed hands. You are shown pictures of US troops playing pool and having a whale of a time, without mention of their torture and so on. Yes, history is written by the victors, but if the true history is whitewashed what can Vietnam really learn from this site? All that said, it's 30k and worth an hour walking around.
Not a big museum but they have kept just enough intact to give a feel for what it must have been like. I found it interesting although if you have been to other prison museums as I have you won't see much you haven't seen before.
Deep in the atmosphere of the prison. Read the explanations and look at the screens to understand the stories. The guide book is not free thought... Also they have student price :) A must-do visit in Hanoi, especially if you are French...
Quite small but worth a visit for sure. The actual prison cells are quite creepy and you can go inside them still so it's a good experience. I would of liked more time to read everything on the wall but I didn't have a chance as had to leave. Also I don't recommend walking to this place - it's incredibly hot to walk even 20mins there from my hostel. Get a grab. :)
A must visit for everyone to Hanoi. A very interesting part of Vietnamese history with a different perspective on certain aspects. Just keep an open mind when going and don't be surprised if you have heard different from what you read and see here.
Powerful museum, used to be used for prisoners. The museum is the portion of the prison that still remains. Reasonable entry price. Good cultural activity. Takes about an hour to get through.
The museum was used as prison a long time ago. Most of the original museum is gone. But still worth to visit. You can watch and read the historical story behind it. It's also called The Hilton Hanoi at that time because prisoners were treated good and they could play sport etc. Try to come early, as it will become crowded with tourists later.
A somber place to visit, but historically very interesting. Contemplative and expressive art was excellent, diorama and description was a bit of history and propaganda, like all national histories presented in museums. A very worthwhile visit.
Thought-provoking and gives you incredible insight to the Vietnam War and how the Americans were treated during the tumultous time. As someone who didn't have much knowledge on the era, it was interesting to walk through the walls of the prison where these people lived and breathed for many years, and hard to imagine people living in such small spaces (the solitary confinement area was quite sad). I believe this museum is a way for Vietnamese people to explain their side of the story and how the felt about America coming onto their land even if they had no solid reason to. Definitely recommend checking out this place if you're ever in Hanoi!
This is a old prison, long ago used by the Americans. So horrible to see what happened here. It's really sad to see the things. Historical stuff saved here. Can visit the real prisoner cells. Terrific experience. Must visit place. Just 2 US$ to enter. Walking distance from old quarter.
Absolutely fascinating...and horrifying. Gives a new perspective on the modern history of Vietnam, through its wars and its prisoners. The buildings by itself is very interesting, and the depictions of its former prisoners in their stockades and with their stories posted throughout is quite eye-opening. In particular, it helps explain the vicious and tenacious resistance and fierce independence of modern day Vietnamese, many of whom fought to ensure that Vietnam would not be “invaded” and controlled by yet another perceived imperialist nation, the US. Of course, it fails to tell the story of those who fought along with the Americans, believing that Communism would be even worse that whatever the Americans might have to offer.
Very informative place. Be careful they try to sell you a booklet at the beginning you don't need ha.. all in all. Great place to learn about the prison
I did not like it at all. Where we all know that there was a big war going on, this was more of a feel-good American camp where they had chickens and everyone was really friendly and played ball. Nothing what I expected. Not the drama I was expecting. It was more of a hotel than a prison although reading online a lot of bad stuff happened here.
Neat experience, well done museum. Has a flair of propganda but not overbearing. Reminds us that from each perspective the war was justified...well presented.
Interesting place to visit. You dont need much more than an hour here though. I also wonder how acurate some of the information is. Not a must visit but if you have time.
Fascinating displays on the history of the prison! Gives one view of the American POW experience (I'm not entirely sure how accurate it was!). Great little gift shop on hand, and free toilet for use while in the prison. Not sure how small kids would do here, I think 8-10 yr olds would do ok, any younger would be tough.
The Hoa Lo Prison, aka "Hilton Hanoi", is a must see in the capital. Unexpectedly, a good portion of the museum is dedicated to the history of the prison's original use, a French prison for Vietnamese prisoners, many fighting for independence. The sections apportioned to the Vietnam War displayed selective pieces of history, with photos of 'happy' American prisoners. An interesting perspective to say the least.
Nice historical recap. Might be boring for very young kids. Had mock ups to really let you feel how is was like. Good place to learn about history, featured some American pows. English texts, and you can pay to hire a guide if you don't have the patience to read on your own. Maybe they can share more too? Not sure, we didn't hire a guide.