Red River, Black River – Travels in Northern Vietnam PART 1. Hanoi

PART 1. Hanoi

The plan was simple enough. A couple of days in Hanoi , then take the overnight train to the hill resort of Sapa, then 3 days to climb Mt.Fanxipan and get back down again, then drive to Dien Bien Phu for 2 nights before flying back to Hanoi.

 First stop in Hanoi, the ‘Hanoi Hilton’.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Hoa Lo Prison Museum or ‘The Hanoi Hilton’.

This notorious prison held American pilots who were shot down over North Vietnam during the Vietnam War (or the American War as the Vietnamese call it). The POW’s nicknamed this prison the Hanoi Hilton. One of the more famous inmates was John McCain (recent US Presidential contender) whose flying suit was on prominent display.

 

During the French colonial era the prison housed Vietnamese political prisoners and criminals in harsh conditions.

The French Liked Their Guillotines

 I’d never seen a real guillotine before. Efficient no doubt

Long Bien Bridge, Hanoi