Netflix film shows foreigners another side of Vietnam

By Tu Nguyen   May 8, 2023 | 01:04 am PT
Netflix film shows foreigners another side of Vietnam
A scene of 'A Tourist's Guide to Love' filmed at My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam Province in central Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Netflix
Eirene Tran Donohue penned the Netflix film 'A Tourist's Guide to Love' in part to show Westerners a different side of Vietnam, not just the war stories.

"There is so much to love about Vietnam," the Vietnamese American writer told VnExpress.

"It's beautiful landscape: there are mountains and beaches and beautiful countryside, plus the cities are so exciting with so much to do. People love to laugh and have a good time. I love the fighting spirit of Vietnamese people," she said.

"Americans and the rest of the world have always only ever seen Vietnam as a war story. But for me it's a love story. And I wanted to share that story with the world."

She said the movie was inspired by how she met her husband in Hanoi while traveling in Vietnam. She's been wanting to tell the story for over 20 years.

Beauty to behold

Donohue said the beauty of the Vietnamese landscape has been paramount to her film's success.

"Many Vietnamese people have told me they were grateful to see a movie that showed how beautiful Vietnam is. I'm very proud to be able to show the world the beauty of Vietnam."

She said Vietnam clearly had a high potential for tourism development and she hoped her film would increase the country's popularity in the eyes of foreign viewers.

"I think movies can definitely have a positive effect on tourism popularity. In ‘A Tourist's Guide To Love,’ we showcase a variety of tourist destinations like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Hoi An. We show several different places that people can visit where they can experience different aspects of Vietnamese culture and history. And the food! We showcase a variety of different Vietnamese dishes that look delicious," said Donohue.

After watching the film, many foreign viewers praised Vietnam's beauty on Twitter, saying they felt the urge to visit the Southeast Asian country.

"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 as a tourist in Vietnam to acquire information about a local tourism agency.

Amanda has just broken up with her boyfriend and meets a local tour guide named Sinh (played by Scott Ly) during her travels in Vietnam. She changes her tour’s itinerary at his suggestion.

A week after its release, the film was ranked one of 10 most watched movies on Netflix globally.

Many tourism insiders expect the success of the movie to increase Vietnam's visibility among international tourists.

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