Foreigners impressed by Vietnam's landscapes after watching Netflix film

By Tu Nguyen, Hoang Phong   April 27, 2023 | 03:00 am PT
Foreigners impressed by Vietnam's landscapes after watching Netflix film
A scene in "A Tourist's Guide to Love" that shows the Lunar New Year atmosphere in Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Netflix
Many foreigners were enchanted by the beauty of Vietnam's natural landscapes and transformation in urban cities after watching the new Netflix film "A Tourist's Guide to Love."

American Jennifer Doan, producer of Fox 10 Phoenix's Arizona Morning program, said that she had been to Vietnam three times between 2002 and 2007 but after watching the movie she thought that Vietnam had changed dramatically.

"I remembered how bad Highway 1 was. It was a bumpy ride but the drone scene in the film showed so much progress from the high-rise buildings in Saigon to the highway scenes," she said. "I need to book a trip back to Vietnam soon."

Peter McMahon, an American fitness coach, said he and his wife had traveled from north to south in Vietnam five years ago.

"I was particularly excited to see the parts of Vietnam that I had been to and curious about the parts that I had not been to."

McMahon said there are also certain cultural factors in the countryside of Vietnam that are new to him in the movie, especially the preparation for the Lunar New Year.

"A Tourist's Guide to Love" started streaming last Friday and follows the story of Los Angeles-based travel executive Amanda, played by Rachael Leigh Cook, who is assigned to go undercover in Vietnam as a tourist to find information on a local tourism agency.

The character has just broken up with her boyfriend and during her trip to Vietnam, she meets Sinh, a local tour guide, played by Scott Ly, and changes her itinerary at his suggestion.

The movie was filmed at many of Vietnam's famous tourist destinations such as HCMC's Ben Thanh Market, UNESCO heritages site My Son Sanctuary and Hoi An ancient town, Da Nang, and Hanoi's Temple of Literature.

Catalyst for future trips

Foreign viewers said the film was a "catalyst" for their love of Vietnam, urging them to immediately pack their backs to explore the hidden charms of the country.

Joyce, a French-German translator, said she had visited all tourist destinations that appear in the movie during her trip to Vietnam in January.

"The culture, the kindness of the locals, the breathtaking landscapes... I loved my stay in Vietnam which is an authentic country. I liked it so much that I will go back in June to explore the north," she said.

"The film is a kind of wonderful postcard of Vietnam. I hope it will make the viewers want to discover this incredible country. After seeing the movie, we found ourselves a little in the main character who encounters the same difficulties that we had. It made us laugh a lot."

Victor, a Nigerian who knows Vietnam from mentions from books and videos about its wars, said the movie has changed his mind on the country.

"I was most impressed with its culture especially the Tet traditional customs. It was so beautiful. The hospitality and friendliness of Vietnamese people was beyond my expectations," he said.

"Keeping traditions alive has always been a motto for my people and seeing the Vietnamese do the same makes me want to take a trip as soon as possible."

However, the movie has received negative reviews for narrating the Lunar New Year, or Tet in the northern highlands province of Ha Giang. The holiday falls in late winter or early spring but the characters were seen wearing summer attires outdoor at night.

After watching the film, many praised Vietnam's beauty on Twitter, saying they felt urged to visit right away.

"'A Tourist's Guide to Love' makes me want to go to Vietnam with no itinerary and just go wherever the trip will take me," tweeted Andie.

"I just watched 'A Tourist’s Guide to Love' and everything in this movie is beautiful!... So beautiful," Pia Isabel tweeted.

Tourism insiders expect the Hollywood movie project will help foreign tourists know about Vietnam more and boost the country's image as a safe and friendly destination.

In 2017, the movie "Kong: Skull Island" by American director Jordan Vogt-Roberts had promoted Trang An Landscape Complex of Ninh Binh, caves in central Vietnam and Ha Long Bay to global viewers.

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