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'Night at Hoa Lo Prison' tour to be launched in Hanoi


Vietnam News/Asia News Network

Hanoi, Vietnam  /  Tue, June 30, 2020  /  09:06 am
'Night at Hoa Lo Prison' tour to be launched in Hanoi

This photo taken on February 7, 2018 shows a tourist in the courtyard of Hoa Lo prison, dubbed the ‘Hanoi Hilton’, now a museum in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, where former US Navy pilot John McCain was held as a prisoner of war (POW) for five and a half years after his jet was shot down over a Hanoi lake in 1967. (AFP/Nhac Nguyen)

A tour of Hoa Lo Prison Relic at night will be launched from July 24, according to the administration board of the tourist site.

The tour is being organised with Hanoitourist Travel Company to offer more experience to travelers but it is not recommended for children under 16.

It is part of activities to attract tourists throughout the country and stimulate domestic tourism that has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As one of the points within the tourism stimulus package of Hanoi City, Hoa Lo Prison Relic will open until night. It is expected to be the first success on overcoming the effects of the pandemic on domestic tourism,” said a representative of the administration board of Hoa Lo Prison.

In the 45-minute journey backwards in time, visitors will witness the harshness of the colonial region during the wars in Vietnam, the noble sacrifice of the national heroes and see the special spiritual space dedicated to the gratitude for the predecessors.

The space within the relic at night will utilize both light and sound effects to awaken visitors’ emotions and senses.

Each visitor will be presented with a gift of spiritual value and symbolic meaning of the relic.

Tours exploring Hoa Lo Prison at night will be conducted from 7 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from July 24.

Hoa Lo Prison is a special historical relic of Hanoi, built by the French colonists in 1896 to imprison Vietnamese patriots. Called Maison Centrale, it used to be one of the biggest prisons of French colonialism in Indochina at that time.

Many patriots, revolutionary leaders of Vietnam, were captured in Hoa Lo prison, such as Phan Bội Châu, Lương Văn Can, Hồ Tùng Mậu, Nguyễn Lương Bằng, and five General Secretaries of the Party including Nguyễn Văn Cừ, Trường Chinh, Lê Duẩn, Nguyễn Văn Linh and Đỗ Mười.

From August 5, 1964, to March 31, 1973, part of the prison was used to capture American pilots who were shot down during bombing raids against North Vietnam. In this period, the prison was euphemistically called the “Ha Noi Hilton” by the prisoners in detention. “Alumni” of Hoa Lo include Douglas Peter Peterson, who later became the first US Ambassador to Vietnam, and John McCain, the late US Senator.

In 1993, the Government retained a part of Hoa Lo Prison to transform into a historical relic. This part located in southeast of the prison was preserved, renovated and upgraded. Here, there is a memorial monument in dedication to the Vietnamese patriotic and revolutionary fighters. 

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This article appeared on the Viet Nam News newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post