Hanoi, Vietnam



Wartime Sites

Hoa Lo Prison (The Hanoi Hilton)
1 Hoa Lo, Hoan Kiem. Open: from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission: 20,000 dong.
This prison was built by the French at the turn of the 20th century, in the classical French prison design. This is where the French colonialists imprisoned and executed many of the Vietnamese revolutionaries. It is now a museum but two-thirds of the prison was torn down to make way for the Hanoi Towers. The museum exhibits the brutalities of the colonial regime and the struggle of the Vietnamese against imperialism.
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The prison was also known as the "Hanoi Hilton" during the Vietnam War as it held American POW. Little emphasis is given to this period and the exhibits shown can be frustratingly skewed in propaganda, choosing to show government sanctioned photos of prisoners being treated well and playing basketball, chess and other staged events. They also claim to have John McCain's flight suit when his plane was shot down during the Vietnam War.

Hanoi Hilton by Newone

Downed Aircraft Memorial
Along Thanh Nien St on Truc Bach Lake.
There is a stone plaque commemorating the shooting down of a U.S. Navy (not "USAF" as depicted) aircraft in 1967. Peruse the Vietnamese script and you can pick out the name of John McCain, one of the airmen. Army Museum, (Dien Bien Phu street, across from the Lenin Statue mini-park and is in the area of embassies). Retells the stories of many battles throughout the country‚Äôs history. There are documents as well as models in the museum to make the retelling more interesting. They have the model of the B-52 plane, tanks and even canons. 

B-52 Lake
Huu Tiep Lake, Ngoc Ha Precinct, Ba Dinh District.
Until 19 December 1972, this was just a small brackish pond just off Hanoi's Hoang Hoa Tham Street (about 1 km west of the mausoleum). On that day during the Vietnam War, Vietnamese anti-aircraft guns shot down an American B-52 bomber and sent it hurling down to the shallow bottom of the lake, where it remains today. Of the six crew members, two died and four became prisoners of war.

B-52 Lake by Collin Mutchler

Army Museum
Dien Bien Phu St. Open: Tue-Thr and Sat-Sun from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission: 30,000 dong and additional 20,000 dong to take pictures (rarely enforced).
Vietnam's military history extends back some two millennia and this museum covers it on four buildings with interesting exhibits. Descriptions on museum exhibits are in Vietnamese, French and English. On display outside are the ubiquitous MiG-21 jet fighter, T-54 tank and many bombs and articles captured during Indochina and Vietnam wars. 

Air Force Museum
Truong Chinh St.
The Air Force Museum has a decent outdoor collection of a UH-1 helicopter, Soviet-built MiG fighters, a huge Mi-6 helicopter and other aircraft. Unfortunately they've been exposed to the weather elements for some time and local kids climb over them.

Guide to
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