Looking over Lam Son Square and the Opera House, the Hotel Continental is one of Ho Chi Minh City’s most famous institutions. Initially a favourite haunt of the French living in the city, who would gather on its terrace each evening to discuss affairs of state, it became an important base for journalists during both the First and Second Indochina Wars. Graham Greene was one of its best-known guests; he stayed in room 214 while he was writing ‘The Quiet American’.
Built originally in 1880, the four-storey building had various owners until it was taken over by the government in 1975. It was then closed for a decade before being re-opened in 1989. Once the address of choice for visitors to Saigon, it has now slipped to three-star status, but it maintains an aura of bygone grandeur and still enjoys a prime location in the heart of the city.
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