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8 vacations based on books

By: Josh Lew on April 29, 2013, 3:44 p.m.
Continental Hotel in Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City

Photo: John_Brennan/Flickr

9 of 10

Graham Greene's Saigon

A lot has changed since Graham Greene stayed in the former capital city and current boomtown of Saigon. Even the city's official name was changed to Ho Chi Minh City after reunification (though lots of people, including many locals, still refer to it as “Sai Gon”). Many of the street names have also been altered since Greene penned his classic, "The Quiet American," in the early 1950s, so it’s not helpful to use the book itself as a guide. Rue Catinat, where much of the action in the novel took place, is now Dong Khoi Street, though Greene's favorite haunt, the Continental Hotel (at right), still remains. The Central Post Office and the Opera House, both backdrops for the book’s narrative, are also still standing. Construction is occurring at a rapid pace all around the city, but there are still some timeless marketplaces and shady colonial era villas that have stood since well before Greene and the book's anti-hero, Thomas Fowler, walked the streets of Saigon.