Hoa Lo, often translated as “fiery furnace”, was where Vietnamese political prisoners were held during the French colonial period in the early 20th century, and, later, American prisoners of war (POWs), including the late senator John McCain. Dubbed ironically as the “Hanoi Hilton” by POWs, the prison was demolished and converted into a museum in the 1990s. The museum can still send chills down one’s spine thanks to the presence of a genuine guillotine, life-sized figures of skeletal Vietnamese prisoners and dreary solitary cells.
Hoa Lo Prison
Now a museum, Hoa Lo now houses an array of artefacts from its sombre past