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Saigon landmarks: the Opera House and the Continental Hotel. I was standing with my back to the Caravelle, another landmark hotel in the downtown area. Before 1975, the Continental Hotel had a large terrace -also known as the Continental Shelf where Graham Greene drank his whiskey when writing 'The Quiet American'. The Opera House served as the seat of South Vietnam's Parliament. After 1975, the new government closed down the terrace and the hotel slowly fell into disrepair. Now that tourism in Vietnam is booming all the old colonial era hotels have been renovated.... some in a quasi colonial style -like the Continental, The Majestic and The Grand, and others have been turned into random five star business hotels, like the Caravelle

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Taken on January 4, 2009