Phu Quoc Prison serves as a bleak reminder of Vietnam’s turbulent past, where thousands people were imprisoned and tortured during the Vietnam War. Also called Coconut Tree Prison, this war museum now houses authentic torture instruments, photographs of former detainees and exhibits of brutal punishments.
Built in 1949 by French colonists, it is believed to have detained over 40,000 Vietnamese soldiers and political figures who have opposed both French and American forces. After the end of the Indochina War, most of the prisoners were released to their families but developed physical and mental disabilities due to the barbaric tortures of Phu Quoc Prison.
In 1995, the prison was declared a national historical site and opened to the public by Vietnamese government. Phu Quoc Prison also has a retail outlet selling handicrafts, local snacks, and books about the Vietnamese War. There are numerous life-sized wax mannequins depicting graphic scenes of torture within the two-storey exhibition centre, including crucifixion, food deprivation, and electrocution.
Another prominent site in Phu Quoc Prison is the row of tiger cages. Prisoners were kept in total darkness and subjected to extreme heat and cold for a prolonged period of time, resulting in pneumonia and blindness. The prison is one of Phu Quoc Island’s most iconic landmarks, attracting mostly former prisoners and foreign visitors looking to learn more about Vietnam’s history.
Accessible within a 45-minute drive from Duong Dong, entrance fee to Phu Quoc Prison is priced at VND 3,000 per person with guided tours available in English, French and Vietnamese.
Phu Quoc Prison Museum
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:30 – 11:00 & 13:30 – 17:00
- Address: 350 Highway 46, Phu Quoc Island
- Price Range: VND 3,000