Phu Quoc is the largest island among a cluster of islands outside Kien Giang’s sea with an area of more than 593 km2, located 100 kilometres from the mainland. Taking the advantages of geographical features, first French colonists then American imperialists had established total 3 prisons, 2 of which are the infamous Con Dao prison and Phu Quoc Prison, with aim of holding Vietnamese prisoners and French resistance activists. From Duong Dong Market 30km Phu Quoc prison is not too far away from Sao and Khem beaches.
This prison was built by French colonial administration to imprison Vietnamese patriots and activists. In 1956, Ngo Dinh Diem changed the prison into a “Coconut Tree” training camp. In 1967, the prison was renovated and a cell bock for communist prisoners was built. In Vietnam War time, the new part of the prison had 12 main areas; men and women prisoners were separated. Each area was divided into four different sub-areas “A”, “B”, “C” and “D”. This prison is living evidence for war crimes in Vietnam. There are exhibits presented in the prison for visitors to learn more about the war of which are some torture tools that were used in the past on prisoners. And the most inhumane place must be “Catso Tiger cage”, a name we can’t be missed out when we mention Phu Quoc prison.
In 1996, Phu Quoc prison was recognized as national historical heritage by Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. After many times of restoration and reconstruction, Phu Quoc prison is now an tourist attraction for domestic and international visitors. Vietnam war was clearly resurgent through photos, exhibits and posthumous writing of communists that partly makes visitors know to some extent about the harsh resistant wars against the French and American.
– Opening hours: Daily 07:30 – 11:00 & 13:30 – 17:00
– Address: 350 Highway 46, Phu Quoc Island
– Admission: Free of charge
– It’s best to hire a tour guide to understand more about the struggles and the fight of Vietnamese soldiers who were held here and the significance this prison holds in Vietnam’s history.