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Son La

Things to see and do

  • Son La prison
    4 stars

    The prison was built in 1908 by the French, and expanded in 1930 and 1940 to accommodate the ever growing number of political prisoners generated by the Viet Minh liberation movement. Nicknamed 'the grinder', it was notorious for being the most miserable place in the country to be incarcerated. One ... read more

  • Lookout Point
    3 stars

    There are no services at the top, so bring your own water. You can access it by following the road to the right of the Trade Union Hotel — the first couple of hundred feet can be done on a motorbike in first gear, and once you get to the last house on the road, you'll have to park and you'll ... read more

  • Hot Springs
    2 stars

    Some of the tubs are sunken concrete affairs, big enough for two people. We heard that there was a communal option where you could bathe for free, but on our visit the locals insisted there was no such thing. No worries in any case — one of the owners ran the tap for us to test the water, and ... read more


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