Long before foreign tourists thronged the famed tropical beaches, Phu Quoc was home to a notorious island prison camp. Also known as Coconut Tree Prison, this museum the darker side of humanity during war and times of political upheaval in Vietnam.
Built by the French, and used throughout the Vietnam War, the museum looks just like a classic war prison camp. The perimeter is fringed by rusty barbed wire and there is a menacing watchtower looking out over the camp.
Furthermore, the museum contains rows of tiger cages that were notoriously used for confinement as well as a restored escape tunnel.
Once housing up to 40,000 prisoners of war, beating and torture were a daily occurrence and many of the displays showcase this in graphic detail. The main two-story building houses all the historical artifacts and gives an introduction to what life was like as a prisoner.
Outside. among the barbed wire fences is the main prison, there are displays re-enacting the cramped conditions as well as scenes of torture. Guided tours are available in English, French, and Vietnamese.
Exhibits at Phu Quoc Prison Museum
The main gallery building showcases a range of strange implements that were used to abuse detainees as well as photos depicting everyday life within the prison. Furthermore, there are emotive posthumous writings from prisoners detailing the hellish conditions they faced.
You can then walk through the camp and inside the prison huts, which also houses numerous scenes of quite graphic torture. While simple mannequins are used to depict prisoners and guards, the barbaric methods that are portrayed are not for the faint-hearted.
Note: It is advised that you don’t bring children to this museum.
Phu Quoc Prison Museum is located in the south, about 40 minutes by taxi from the main town of Duong Dong. It is usually a scheduled stop on many South Phu Quoc day tour itineraries offered by tour companies on the island.
Address: 350 Nguyen Van Ce, An Thoi, Phu Quoc, Kien Giang, Vietnam
Phone: +84 773 844578
Season: Year-Round | 7 AM- 5 PM