The prison is surrounded by stone walls, steels with 4 meters height and reinforced by barbed-wire system of high voltage lines running, through the four corner there have towers are capable of observing the prison. The main gate was built with the two stoney building with the dome-shaped structure. From the prison area to other, it should follow a path that has many iron doors so that the prisoners could hardly escape.
Hoa Lo Prison began operating from January 1899, since incomplete. As the center prison of Tonkin, Hoa Lo has detained a large number of Prisoners throughout the Northern provinces with all kinds: political prisoners, economic prisoners. This is where many revolutionary soldiers and patriots of Vietnam were killed. According to the original design, Hoa Lo only detains about 500 people. But it has been extended prison to have many places to detain prisoners. The 1950s-1953s, the Hoa Lo detained over 2000 people.
After the capital was liberated on 10th October 1954, Hoa Lo Prison was controlled by the revolutionary government. Period 1964-1973s, the America conducted destructive war the North of Vietnam. Hoa Lo Prison became the place to detain the American pilots.
In 1993 on the land of Hoa Lo, Hanoi tower-a commercial center was built, one part became the historical revolution of the capital. There is evidence of the crimes of the French. This was also kept many documents and files of the communist soldiers. Hoa Lo Prison has intact with many precious materials, science display, and the attractive spot for many domestic and foreign guests to Hanoi.
Note: Do not advise group have children visit this Prison, it make bad emotion.
Address: Hoả Lò, Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Location: 1 km from Hoan Kiem Lake
Entrance fee: 20,000 VN/person
Highlight: The gruesome guillotine used to behead Vietnamese revolutionaries during the French colonial period; and Senator John McCain's pilot suit and parachute