Now for some more recent history

This evening I had a tour of this hotel. It has an interesting history. Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard stayed here on their honeymoon and Micheal Caine stayed here when making The Quiet American, as did Graham Green when writing it. I was interested to see that Somerset Maugham also stayed here when writing The Moon and Sixpence because the moment I entered the hotel, the atmosphere reminded me of his work.
Part of the tour included going down into the underground shelter that was used during the American War by diplomats from various embassies. Jane Fonda and her family also used it and Joan Baez wrote one of her anti war songs whilst sheltering during a raid. The local guides are a bit ambiguous about the war. It is a great tourist attraction and they go to some pains to let you know that they bear no grudges but they like to let you know that the G.I.s left with their tails between their legs.
Early start tomorrow, leaving at 8 a.m. for Ha Long Bay and overnight on a junk. I don’t expect to get internet there or even a hair dryer, heyho, life is tough!

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