Phuhai Prison - Con Dao Island - Vung Tau - Vietnam

Phuhai Prison at Con Dao Island - The oldest and largest prison in Con Dao is located on Le Van Viet street in Con Dao district, Ba Ria - Vung Tau province. This prison belongs to the system of forced labor camps, which are referred to as "hell on earth" in Con Dao, built by the French colonialists and then the old Saigon government to imprison revolutionary soldiers and patriots. Vietnam in the period of national fight.


President Ton Duc Thang

Knowing that comrade Ton Duc Thang was a skilled mechanic, the French army brought him to work at the Department of Net, specializing in canoe repair. In 1945, a canoe repaired by Uncle Ton named Giai Phong was piloted by Uncle Ho to bring some comrades in the revolutionary leadership back to the mainland.

The story of prison escape in cell number 3

This is the first prison break in the history of Con Dao prison. This is the most heavily guarded prison cell for death row inmates. To perform the prison break, comrade Le Van Viet, 5F100 platoon leader of the Saigon - Gia Dinh commando, and two death row inmates, comrades Le Hong Tu and Pham Van Dau, carried each other on the roof, observing the action. of the jailer. Knowing that every day there are from 5 to 10 minutes without a guard due to the warden changing shifts, the comrades took advantage of this opportunity to escape on the night of October 12, 1966. Successfully escaping each prisoner divided into many hiding directions to find a way to return to the mainland. But in the process of hiding, 3 death row inmates were captured, they were brutally tortured, then died and were buried in Hang Duong cemetery. After this prison break, the prison guards had to spread barbed wire to all the cells at Camp Phu Hai.

Phu Hai prison camp, Con Dao has experienced more than 100 years with many historical ups and downs, witnessed the resilient struggles of Vietnamese patriots in the imperial colonial prison. Today, this place has become a destination that attracts groups of tourists who want to learn about the history of Con Dao in particular and the history of Vietnam in general through the periods and understand the pain and suffering of the people. Previous generations have to suffer in exchange for the peace of today.


Room No. 6: Or the typical death room: in the old Saigon government, this was the place where the war against communist secession was started by political prisoners detained (without sentence); the leading flag of the movement to protect the climate of Con Dao political prisoners. The warden tried to brutally suppress political prisoners to carry out a plot to divide between the communists and the resistance. So many political prisoners died here.

Room 7: This is where the first Vietnamese Communist Party cell in Con Dao prison was born at the end of 1932 in Bange 1, later developed into the Con Dao Party Committee, leading the prisoners' struggle with the excellent contributions of Nguyen Hoi, Ton Duc Thang, Ngo Gia Tu, Tran Quan Tang, Nguyen Chi Dieu, Le Van Luong, Nguyen Duy Trinh...

Room 9: This place used to hold Ton Duc Thang, Vo Sy, Vo Thuc Dong, etc. This is the place where the magazine "Common Opinion" is published, the mouthpiece of communist prisoners in Con Dao. Famous prisoner, President Ton Duc Thang, when he was arrested on Con Dao, was locked in this cell (July 2, 1930).

Room 10: Under the old Saigon government in 1958, during the anti-study and delating Cong San Vietnam period, the prison guards brutally suppressed 175 political prisoners in order to subdue these prisoners to abandon their communist ideals and return to the national cause, but the plot failed completely.

Special prison cell: At Phu Hai prison, there is also a special cell behind the club dedicated to prisoners who are also very "special" who are high-ranking communist cadres such as: Ton Duc Thang, Pham Hung, Le Van Luong, Ngo Gia Tu... The French period was the place where 46 prisoners were imprisoned with the first death penalty.

By 1957, the old Saigon government had brought out 41 women against secession, denounced plus (who had a criminal record from prisons on the mainland to Con Dao. Then in 1958 - 1960, the old Saigon government strengthen the suppression of communist prisoners who are forced to leave the party according to the country.

Rice mill tunnel: During the French colonial period, this was a room built with stone walls surrounded by a ceiling made of black cloth and covered with a winch. There is only 1 door, no windows. Inside there are 5 mills made of double sawed wine barrels filled with clay inside. Each mill must have from 4 to 6 prisoners to pull it. From the work of pulling the mill, carrying the rice... the prisoners who work as hard laborers here also have to endure another torture as the two are chained together with a chain with pears along with a dumbbell (the average weight is from 3-7kg).

In the time of the old Saigon government, to deceive public opinion, the government had to demolish the mill and turn it into a hospital. The infirmary is just a fancy name, but it's actually a morgue. Prisoners are moved here to lie down to die. Prisoners are not given medicine for the right disease, regardless of the disease, they will also give kynh Ninh (drug for malaria).

Cell area: including 20 stone cellars. Wardens use these cells to isolate prisoners who are classified as dangerous, dissident... or recaptured escapees. These prisoners are shackled 24 hours a day. During the first 10 days of being punished in the cell, the prisoner had to eat light rice and drink cold water (although the food in Con Dao prison was only dry, soy sauce, fish sauce...for a long time, it was bitter, rancid.. .)

The 2m high tunnel was built with an arched shape. In winter, the ice gives off bone-chilling cold, and the summer is hot and stuffy. The thick iron cell door, when closed, made a loud, torture-like "bang", only to be slightly ajar when the warden brought rice, or poured a bucket of water on a weekend morning (called a bath). The prisoners here if they leave this area, they will also be rabid.

The hard labor dam area: where patriotic philanthropist Phan Chu Trinh inspired the song "Kun Lon rock dam": Being a boy standing in the middle of Con Lon land/Splendid makes mountains avalanche.../Those who patch up the sky when they miss their steps/ Hard to tell the children.


Built in 1862 and completely renovated from 1889 to 1896. The first name of the camp was Bange 1. It was later changed to Lao 2, Cong Hoa Camp, camp 2 and the last name in November 1974 is the correctional center - Phuhai camp. After the Paris Agreement in 1973, in order to conceal the political prisoners from returning, the old Saigon government changed the names of all prisons in Con Dao, each of which was paired with the word Phu and the prison system at Con Dao belongs to Phu Hai Correctional Center.

On November 28th, 1861, the French occupied Con Dao. In January 1862, Governor Bonard in Cochinchina decided to establish a prison at Con Dao, they built a series of temporary prisons made of earth walls and thatched roofs. In early March 1862, the colonial government arrested 50 prisoners with sentences from 1 to 10 years and brought them to Con Dao. In June 1862, 50 prisoners combined with more than 100 Nguyen Dynasty soldiers to make an uprising, burn down the prison, drive away the French prison guards who had to flee to the mainland. In the following days, because they could not find a way to leave the island, the prisoners and soldiers were massacred by the French army, sending Norazaray to Con Dao, killing more than 100 people and capturing 20 prisoners alive. They forced these 20 prisoners to carry more than 100 corpses up on a sand hill and bury them in the same grave, then they buried 20 prisoners alive there (the remains of the skull dump). Then the French colonialists planned to build a solid prison with a total area of ​​12,015 m2 with thick walls surrounding the outside.

In 1896, the prison built 2 rows of prisons facing each other, each row of 5 cells (numbered from left to right 1 to 10), at the end of the prison yard, the road connecting the two prison rows has 20 cellars. stone (also called cell). At the end of the prison block on the left, there is a "special prison" cell. Next is the "rice mill", which is both a place of hard labor to grind rice and a place of exile to punish prisoners. In the bottom right corner, the French built an additional vacant land used to force prisoners to smash rocks. This is also a place for prisoners who are grafted into dangerous elements.

Every day the warden sent prisoners to do hard work, in the evening forced the prisoners to take off all their clothes for the guards to check, before entering the cell and sleeping naked. Prisoners had to do hard work such as: going to the sea to find coral to bring up to bake into powder, to going to the forest to exploit stone, to make wood, to clean ships...

In the time of the old Saigon government, in order to deceive public opinion, the government built: chapels, lecture halls, clubs, cafeterias, barber rooms... and renovated the "rice mill" into a medical room. . The campground is also planted with flowers and ornamental plants like a park. This is a work that is both a formality to deal with public opinion and is used to bribe and seduce political prisoners to secede, denounce the community…

It can be said that all classes of prisoners from the Can Vuong feudal period of the Nguyen Dynasty, the Viet Minh revolution against the French colonialists to the time of the Saigon regime, patriotic prisoners were subjected to extremely harsh punishments here.


It will be a pity if you do not try a trip to Con Dao. There is nothing better than witnessing the green-covered landscape href="">Southern Vietnam.

If you have a chance to come to Con Dao Island, do not neglect this destination. Finally, if you have any questions about Con Dao Island or want to learn about Con Dao vacation tour package 3 days 2 nights daily. Searching href=""> or contact directly us by our hotline +84934797779.

Mr. Ming - Note. The content of the article is copyrighted by IN TOURIST COMPANY LIMITED. All copies must indicate the source, the author's name, along with a link to the corresponding content at INTOUR TRAVEL (Images are collected from Facebook, Instagram. Thank you for sharing the necessary images).

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