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  -- Con Dao: Museum
  -- Con Dao: Nui Mot Pag.
  -- Con Dao: Prison


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Con Dao Prison

"Maybe this is nothing for a holiday. All that pointless suffering people do to each other. How barbarous the people were, that the sheets here came from parts in a country that was not theirs. Madness, but maybe you should check it out, but ....... it doesn't make your view of humanity any better.
That we may learn."

Prison entrance

          The Con Dao-prison - was built by French settlers in 1896 to lock up those considered particularly dangerous to the colonial government. It became "hell on earth". Completely different from the peaceful and peaceful landscape of Con Dao today, prison has historically been the home of many patriots undergoing the cruel and inhumane torture of the Americans and French settlers.
Therefore, a visit to the historical Con Dao prison in Vietnam is an absolute must, as it shows you the stamina and unyielding strength of the Vietnamese and the most horrible excesses of the war era.

The prison complex is split into several locations such as: Phu Son Prison, Phu Hai Prison, Phu Tho Kamp, Phu Hung Kamp, Separated Cow Shed, Phu An Kamp, American Tiger Cages, Phu Binh Kamp, French Tiger Cages, Phu Tuong Kamp, Phu Phong and the unfinished prison No. 9. The Con Dao prison complex for two periods under French colonialism and US imperialism had 127 hospitals, 42 cells, and 504 "tiger cages."
The tiger cages, built by the French in Phu Tuong prison camp, covered an area of 5,475 square meters.


The name of those cells says a lot; it is much like a cage in which tigers were held. There were 120 tiger cages split into two rows with a roof of bars. Today, mannequins are placed in a number of tiger cages to show the terrible conditions in which the prisoners were tortured to death. The most famous place in the prison is the area of the "tiger cages".

The tiger cages

The American tiger cages were built in 1971 and are also known as the Phu Binh Camp (or Camp 7). At the same time, it was a brand new prison system covering an area of 25 788 square kilometers. The prison consists of eight zones from A to H with 384 cells.
Apart from the areas where prisoners would suffer physical and psychological pain, the enemies also inflicted the penalty of hard labor on them; and the typical shape was the basement for rice husking. The prisoners were forced by this punishment to push the heavy mill into the hot, dirty and suffocating atmosphere of the basement. While the prisoners were always hard at work, they still used their whip to torture them.

We look down into the tiger cage

In July 1970, two representatives of the United States Congress visited. When the delegation arrived in prison, they deviated from the planned tour. They walked around with a map drawn by a former prisoner.
The card led to the door of a building, which was opened from the inside by a guard, when he heard people talking outside the door. Inside they discovered that prisoners were trapped in tight "tiger cages". Prisoners started screaming for water when the delegation entered. They had sores and bruises, and some were mutilated. Harkin took pictures of what he saw. The photos were published July 17, 1970 in the journal Life. This is how the world learned all about this prison.


Today, Con Dao prison is open to visitors and recognized as a special and important national historic site. With unpardonable evidence of the crimes committed by the French and Americans in the past, Con Dao Prison is the place where more and more visitors come to show and understand the brutality of colonialism and imperialism.



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