Sofitel Legend to open air raid shelter for tourists
May 28, 2012
An air raid shelter used in the Vietnam War uncovered under the hotel Sofitel Legend Metropole is now open to tourists. The hotel plans to provide guides to illuminate the history of the air raid shelter. Various people who once sought shelter in the bunker were invited for the opening ceremony.
The discovery of the air raid shelter happened quite by mistake. While digging for the foundation of a bar, construction workers stumbled upon a flooded corridor, many rooms and a primitive staircase leading to the secret bunker. Located over 2m below the hotel, the 40 sq. m. secret trench contained old wine bottles, light bulbs, air ducts and graffiti. It is said that American folk singer Joan Baez was sheltered in this very bunker in 1972.
"We don’t know of any other hotels, in Vietnam or anywhere else for that matter, that maintained a shelter for guests and staff.” says General Director Kai Speth.
Sofitel Legend Metropole is the oldest hotel in Hanoi, which opened in 1901. The 364-room hotel welcomed special guests like Charlie Chaplin, writers Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene, actress Janes Fonda and many chiefs of state.
Today, Vietnam's most popular attractions include the Cu Chi tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City. The massive network of underground tunnels and chambers which gained notoriety during the Vietnam war still attracts travelers from around the world.
Talk to an Enchanting-Asia travel consultant and design your own trip to explore the history and culture of Vietnam.
Image Courtesy: VietNamNet