"A Tourist Guide to love" and top attractions in Vietnam

08 May 2023

"A Tourist guide to Love" is a movie about a cross-country trip of an American girl that was mostly filmed in Vietnam at famous locations such as Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hoi An, Ha Giang, and Hanoi. The movie tells a gentle love story about a journey to heal a broken heart. The main character, Amanda (Rachael Leigh Cook), discovers many beauties of Vietnam during her trip. The film has been praised for introducing Vietnam to a wider international audience. Small details such as bargaining at Ben Thanh market, Sinh, the male lead and Amanda's guide, introducing her to delicious Vietnamese dishes such as "com tam," "goi cuon," and "durian" also leave a strong impression on international viewers.

After Ho Chi Minh City, Amanda and her group travel to Hoi An, where she is amazed by the old town's yellow walls and red-tiled roofs seen from above. Next, they visit the Chinese Assembly Hall on Tran Phu Street where they enjoy a lion dance performance. Hoi An at night leaves Amanda in awe of the colorful lantern-lit streets and the shimmering Thu Bon river adorned with flower lanterns.

My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam is another impressive stop on their journey. Located about 70 km from Da Nang, it is a complex consisting of many Champa temples in a valley surrounded by hills. The scenery and architecture here evoke an ancient atmosphere, making Amanda feel like she has stepped back in time.

"The place is not just a tourist spot but an experience," she says.

My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam

The next destination for the characters deviates from the itinerary. Sinh takes the group to Chàng village, where his grandmother and relatives live. The filming location is in Ha Giang, where the scenery includes majestic mountains, terraced rice fields before the growing season, winding roads, and stilt houses full of corn. Nature is only a supporting factor here. The real highlight in Ha Giang is the local culture. Amanda visits Chàng village during the days leading up to Tet (Lunar New Year). Traditional customs such as house cleaning, ancestor worship, and burning incense sticks at the family altar, grave visiting, burning votive paper horses, making "banh chung" and "xoi" cakes, and drying fish are reenacted. Foreign guests also participate in the preparations for the Tet holiday, wearing traditional costumes. Amanda is delighted to wear an "ao dai."

Finally, the journey concludes in Hanoi, where the capital city's scenery leaves an impression on the characters and the audience.

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