Sunday, May 29, 2016

Shanghai Surprise - Madonna (1986) - Rua do Guimaraes, Macau

Over to Macau for a brief visit to the Hotel Cantao on Rua do Guimaraes. In the film, Penn is put up at a hotel called the Penang Hotel and a fair bit of action seems to have been filmed here. In reality the building was an old dilapidated hotel called the "Hotel Cantao" (i.e. Hotel Canton) and has a fair bit of history to share. Here are the grabs.

View along the side of the building

Inside the lobby

Up until just a few years ago this building was once again falling into disrepair and was all boarded up - you can check out Streetview to see - but during my last visit to Macau in July 2015 I walked past here and noticed it has been renovated and turned into what looked like a very stylish cafe. Sadly I didn't have time to venture in but will try to next trip.

After digging around a bit I found a few Portuguese articles that noted the hotel held the very first congress of the PCV (Communist Party of Vietnam) quite soon after it was founded. It seems that the location of the hotel (in an alleyway behind the vastly more notorious Grand Hotel - see here) was more conducive to secrecy than elsewhere and rightly so because at this meeting, held in 1935, various aspects of the party's ideological founding came to fruition. It was at this meeting that the part y statutes were formalised, as well as the call for the mobilization of various parts of society: workers, women, youth, ethnic minorities, soldiers to form militias to fight against the French. It was also at this meeting that the party central committee was elected (with Lee Hong Phon as the secretary general) and Ho Chi Minh himself was elected to be the Vietnamese representative to the Comintern. So you see, quite a significant meeting in world history for such a small establishment.

The picture below was taken in July 2015.

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