Phu Quoc Prison: visitor info & experience - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Phu Quoc Prison: visitor info & experience

Phu Quoc Prison is one of the popular tourist attraction in Phu Quoc. [Full list here] It may be an attraction today but centuries ago it was a hell. The Phu Quoc prison was built by French to imprison Vietnamese people who were resisting their colonization. It was used again during Vietnam war to keep Viet Cong soldiers.

Phu Quoc prison, also referred to as Coconut Prison is located in southern tip of Phu Quoc island, right next to the highway. We took some time to locate the entrance, because the entrance board read something like a sports complex. 


As we enter the prison campus, we see few small size cages with prisoner mannequins inside- they are exposed to sun, have no space to move around, no access to drinking water. These punishment cells are to make example for others.


Next is a closed chamber- where dozens of prisoners are stacked and cell is closed. With no ventilation, no space and a hot metal wall on all sides, prisoners had to endure extreme discomfort and be lucky to be alive.


Phu Quoc prison has about 12 large huts, accommodating upto 40000 prisoners at its peak. The campus is spread over 400 hectares but prison cell units are all concentrated in small portion. I guess rest of the area were used by officials. Lots of barbed wires, watch towers watch dogs and military kept an eye on prisoners.


Several torture means were employed to demotivate prisoners from rebelling, opposing and thinking of escaping- cutting of their private parts, tooth, beating them with nails, breaking their arms and numerous other means were used to hurt and injure prisoners. The Phu Quoc prison has display of some of these tortures. Not for the weak hearted.


One was a kitchen unit- those who got to work here were the lucky ones. Many units were empty- no exhibits were kept here.


Finally we see a unit where there is a tunnel. Apparently many prisoners managed to dig a tunnel and escape their way out to freedom. Visitors can take a walk along the path those prisoners took and get out of the prison complex, now walking into a shopping area.


Also be sure to enter the main building where a video is constantly played detailing the history of the prison. Photos of actual prisoners are displayed and some more artefacts can be seen.


What all to see/expect in Phu Quoc Prison?

Prison outer boundaries- barbed wires, watch towers

Prison cells & torture details

Escape Tunnel

Shopping center

Exhibition center


Phu Quoc Prison visitor information:

  • Entry fee: None
  • Parking fee: None
  • Timing: Not sure, visiting during day time 9 AM till 5 PM
  • Facilities available: Restroom, shopping, sitting area
  • Time to spend: 1 hour minimum, more at your discretion
  • Nearby: Khem Beach, Sao Beach, Cable car center


Also note: There is a nice coffee shop opposite Phu Quoc Prison which had working WiFi.


There was some war memorial nearby apparently- we didn’t visit the same as we didn’t get clear information. 


Similar: Cu Chi tunnels, Saigon * Port Blair Prison20+ places to visit in Phu Quoc * Agent Orange *

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