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VietNamNews

‘Hanoi Hilton' receives grim title

Update: July, 16/2014 - 10:22

Hoa Lo Prison in downtown Ha Noi has been listed as one of five "macabre destinations" in Southeast Asia, according to CNN Travel.— File Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — Hoa Lo Prison in downtown Ha Noi has been listed as one of five "macabre destinations" in Southeast Asia, according to CNN Travel.

In the article titled Dark tourism: 5 macabre Southeast Asia destinations posted on CNN's website, the piece describes the multimedia approach used to depict the horrific past of the former prison.

The prison was built by the French in 1896 to jail Vietnamese patriots. It was also used to hold US pilots grounded by the Vietnamese armed forces during the American air war against North Viet Nam in the 1960's and early 1970's. The prison was dubbed by American inmates as "Hanoi Hilton".

"Dungeon-dim lighting and effigies of shackled prisoners are combined with expressionistic etchings of inmates on the courtyard walls, grainy film footage of aerial combat scenes and an actual French guillotine used to behead Vietnamese prisoners, to provide a level of physical and psychological immersion that feels like incarceration," the article said.

Other "macabre Southeast Asia destinations" that were mentioned in the article included the Bangkok Forensic Medicine Museum, and the Tsunami tombstones in Ban Nam Khem - both in Thailand. The Killing Fields in Cambodia and the Penang War Museum in Malaysia also made the list. — VNS

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