I believe this is an important cultural stop while visiting Hanoi. It's difficult to fathom the war years, but you can get a healthy reminder of what happened, who was involved, and, from this building and history, determine your own set of reasoning.
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Hanoi Hilton, a new perspective on the strength of the Vietnamese people
Visiting the “Hanoi Hilton” Maison Centrale is an eye opening display into the history, strength, and resilience of the Vietnamese people. Better than any military museum in Vietnam, this building is a study of how the Vietnamese people survived the one hundred year reign of the French followed by the war between Vietnam and America, with view photos and video footage of the bombing of Hanoi. All this and they are still one of the friendliest peoples I have had the pleasure of getting to know.
Photos show renovated entrance to the prison, Vietnamese men shackled to benches during French occupation, and one of the three guillotine used by the French