Photo: Stay calm, they are mannequins.

Can Tho Grand Prison

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Built by the French around 1886, Can Tho Grand Prison is one of several French colonial era prisons found throughout Vietnam.

During the colonial period, prisons became the convenient way for the French (and when they left, the South Vietnamese and Americans) to deal with resistors and revolutionaries. Information on Can Tho’s prison however is thin.

The buck stops here. Photo taken in or around Can Tho Grand Prison, Can Tho, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

The buck stops here. Photo: Cindy Fan

The French colonial prisons on Phu Quoc and Con Son island (Con Dao) are more well known and documented. Reading up on them will give you an idea of the cruel conditions, the imprisonment, torture and execution of both men and women, the elderly and some as young as 14 years old.

Can Tho prison is in the city centre and admission is free so it is certainly worth a 10 minute visit. Eerie mannequins within will help fill out the imagination. The prison had 21 detention rooms, as well as cells, a house for the supervisor, church, pagoda and kitchen.

Frozen in time. Photo taken in or around Can Tho Grand Prison, Can Tho, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Frozen in time. Photo: Cindy Fan

The information sign explains that the prison was designed for 35 prisoners but at times kept 150. Visitors can wander the grounds freely, though it is not for the easily scared.

Can Tho Grand Prison is near the northern end of Hai Ba Trung St (the road that runs along the river). It is on Ngo Gia Tu St, two blocks north of Hai Ba Trung.

Can Tho Grand Prison
Ngo Gia Tu St
Mo–Fr: 08:00–11:00 & 14:00–17:00
Admission: Free

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Location map for Can Tho Grand Prison

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Can Tho.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Can Tho.
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 Read up on how to get to Can Tho, or book your transport online with Baolau.
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 Planning on riding a scooter in Can Tho? Please read this.
 Browse tours in Vietnam with Tourradar.

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