The Sofitel Legend Metropole Ha Noi Hotel will throw open its secret bunker to tourists from May 21, nearly a year after it was discovered.
Construction workers accidentally discovered the air-raid shelter ostensibly created during the war when they were digging to build the foundation for a bar last August. When they drilled past 2m, they hit a thick concrete ceiling, and then found a flooded corridor, several rooms, and a staircase leading to a 40sq.m bunker. They found an old wine bottle, intact light bulbs, air ducts, graffiti, and eerie echoes of a war that ended almost 40 years ago.
The bunker has been preserved in primitive state, and the hotel will also display photos depicting its 111-year history.
The hotel has had guests like actor Charlie Chaplin, writers Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene, actress Jane Fonda, and many heads of state. — VNS