He earned a master's degree in Political Science at the University of New Orleans and has written a novel in Vietnamese.
He became good friends with former South Vietnamese Air Force Colonel An Vo. He also played a large role in the Vietnamese community in New Orleans.
First return to Vietnam
In the 1990s he decided to take up anti-communist activities, and in 1992, he hijacked a Vietnam Airlines airliner. Ly Tong's copilot claimed that he was forced to fly over Ho Chi Minh City so that Ly Tong could drop thousands of leaflets calling for insurrection against the communist government of Vietnam.
He parachuted and jumped from the plane, but he landed in a swamp and was apprehended by Vietnamese soldiers and sentenced to 20 years. 
In 1998 the Vietnamese government released him as part of an amnesty program along with other democracy activists. 
Colonel An Vo from New Orleans is said to have gone back to help him become free.
First trip to Cuba
On his return to Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport in Florida, he was detained and questioned by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement but was released without charges. The Federal Aviation Administration suspended his pilots' license. 
On his return to Florida, he was hailed a hero by some Cuban-Americans and there was a return parade for his flight over Cuba.
Second return to Vietnam
On November 17, 2000, he and a copilot flew to Thailand, from where he flew to drop 50,000 pamphlets calling for armed demonstrations against the communist government of Vietnam over Ho Chi Minh City.
In 2006 he was released by the Thai government and returned to the United States 
Hunger strike 2008
In February through March 2008, he conducted a hunger strike in San Jose, California, protesting efforts by city councilwoman Madison Nguyen to name a district of the city "New Saigon Business District" instead of "Little Saigon".
In South Korea
On August 26, 2008, Ly Tong rented a plane & pilot for travel. But a short time after taking off, Tong told the pilot to fly the airplane over North Korea so that he could spread anti-communist leaflets to the North Koreans. The pilot told him that due to the lack of fuel they had to return to Seoul to refill, whilst sending an emergency hijacking signal to the airport authorities. Upon landing, Tong was arrested and briefly detained by the airport authorities.
Attack on Dam Vinh Hung
This singer was supposedly a singer supporting North Vietnam and its communist values. This concert took place in California where many Vietnamese object to the communist values they escaped from. Security was tight, as people figured there would be an assault against the singer. Ly Tong dressed up as a cross-dresser to escape security and pepper spray the singer in the face as he was being handed a flower on stage.
He was convicted of two misdemeanors—simple assault and resisting arrest—and two felonies, including using tear gas and second-degree burglary with the intent to commit a felony. On June 22, 2012, he was sentenced to 6 months in jail and 3 years probation.
- THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, PLAINTIFFS vs. LY TONG, DEFENDANT(S), Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara, San Jose Facility, 2010-07-23, retrieved 2010-10-01
- Brief taste of freedom for Ly Tong, The Nation, May 18, 2006.
- May, Patrick (2008-02-20), "'Little Saigon' hunger striker: 'I'll continue until I die'", San Jose Mercury News, retrieved 2008-02-28
- "Councilmen Help End 'Little Saigon' Hunger Strike", KTVU News, 2008-03-13, retrieved 2010-10-01
- Official Facebook page Ly Tong
- Vietnamese Embassy bomber claims he is "for freedom and human rights"
- An old soldier still fights Vietnam War
- Vietnam welcomes Thai ruling to extradite US anti-communist
- Viet Nam hails Thailand’s decision to extradite Ly Tong
- Vietnam dissident wins reprieve
- The Last Action Hero
- Anti-communist leaves paper trail The Seattle Times
- Do Not Bring Communists to the Vietnamese American Community
- San Jose: Despite pleas for leniency, judge sentences activist Ly Tong to jail