Old French Prison & Museum
Thuan Chau is about 35km northwest of Son La. Take a local bus or xe om here early in the morning, when its daily market is full of...
For an overview of Son La and the surrounding area, follow the stone steps to the left of the Trade Union Hotel. Look forward to a...
Restaurant Com Pho
There’s no English spoken at this humble but friendly place; just point to whatever takes your fancy.
Old French Prison & Museum information
Lonely Planet review
Son La’s Old French Prison & Museum was a French penal colony where anticolonial revolutionaries were incarcerated. It was destroyed by the ‘off-loading’ of unused ammunition by US warplanes after bombing raids, but is now partially restored. Rebuilt turrets stand guard over crumbling cells and a famous lone surviving peach tree, planted by To Hieu, a 1940s inmate.
Nearby the People’s Committee office has a small museum, with local hill-tribe displays and good views of the prison.