Hoa Lo prison is the unique war museum of Hanoi to keep part of the memory of two wars in Vietnam, French colonial time and Vietnam – US War. This place itself was a prison but it is now displayed as a unique museum, where you can find many war evidence that happened in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Hoa Lo prison – Maison Centrale
Located in the downtown of Hanoi, between Hanoi Old Quarter and Hanoi French Quarter, Hoa Lo prison was built by the French administration in 1896. This prison was used to hold political prisoners during colonial times and later to hold the US pilot in the Vietnam War by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Visit Hoa Lo prison, you can get both understanding of the French colonial era and the Vietnam War.
Display of The French colonial era, the prison was named Maison Centrale, which the original sign still hangs over the entrance, to hold Vietnamese prisoners, mostly political prisoners.
The exhibitions of this area mostly include an array of shackles, whips and tiny solitary confinement dated back to French colonial periods, even a killing machine stored in the center of the prison. The display also shows the struggle of Vietnam for independence from France.
Hoa Lo prison – Hanoi Hilton
Display of Vietnam – US War in another part of the prison, devote to US pilots during the Vietnam War, this time the prison was given the nickname “Hanoi Hilton”.
The list of US pilots incarcerated in Hoa Lo prison includes Pete Petersons and John McCain, there is also a display of his flight suit and many photography exhibitions.
Part of downed fighting aircraft can be found in Vietnam Military History Museum and Huu Tiep Lake (Lane 55, Hoang Hoa Tham Street) where the B52 place was crashed
Hoa Lo prison was the evidence of wars in Vietnam, local students visit the prison to know the history and are proud of the nation. It is a pity that a big part of the prison was taken for the city building of Hanoi Tower but the rest was enough to see how terrible the war was.
Visit Hoa Lo prison is the best way to know about recent wars in Vietnam, the history of Vietnam. It is worth visiting, just a short walk from Hanoi Old Quarter or Hanoi French Quarter.
To know more about war remains in Hanoi, you can also visit Vietnam Military History Museum (28A, Dien Bien Phu street) and Huu Tiep lake ( Lane 55, Hoang Hoa Tham street, Ngoc Ha) to see the crashed B52.
>>> Read more about the top museum in Hanoi
Hoa Lo Prison entrance fee and opening hours
- Address: 01, Hoa Lo Street, Hanoi (in the middle of Hanoi Old Quarter and Hanoi French Quarter) View on map
- Opening hours: 08:00 AM – 17:00 PM every day
- Entrance fee: 30.000 VND (1.3 US$)
- Free motorbike parking