Thursday, April 24, 2014

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One of the darkest memories in the history of Vietnam - French Son La Prison

Son La Prison is considered as one of the most famous places, with a no less notorious name “Hell on Earth” to describe the frightened brutality of French colonialists to Vietnamese prisoners here.

The prison was built in 1908 at the center of Son La town and on top of Khau Ca Hill. The prison became a crucial place where numerous political prisoners were locked.  It was notorious at the time as a cruel and terrifying jail where resisting wills and patriotism on the mind of prisoners was diminished in the bloodiest methods. However, for revolutionists imprisoned inside Son La Jail, the place was a “college” where stamina, solidarity and combating spirit was enhanced. There were many stories about tenaciousness and courage of revolutionists who have resisted the colonial and perished at this place like To Hieu.

Inside the prison
Although the original construction was partially demolished after the two wars, Son La Prison has still conserved major features of it, especially jail system and torturing facilities inside. Impression of tourists with Vietnam travel guide  to outer sceneries might be nothing special, but most guests crossing the entrance and enter the prison will definitely be surprised with inside space because they cannot understand how French colonial can lock prisoners in the terrible place like this.

 Son La Prison

The atmosphere is humid and stifling with ugly smelling and insects everywhere. For the underground jails, its condition is much worse and essentials elements for human lives like light and air seems only be a luxury. In addition, there are also some special rooms for torturing that has remained with almost complete collection of unbelievably terrifying items and method for excruciating and collecting information from prisoners. The general feeling of visitors in Vietnam travel when they see those rooms is horror with their brutality and fortunate when they do not have to experience the cruelty of these tools. 

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