Stranded foreign tourists enjoy unexpected stopover in Hoi An

Unable to return home due to canceled flights and closed borders as a result of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), foreign tourists in the central Vietnamese city of Hoi An find themselves unexpectedly enjoying the locality in its everyday charm.

While France has seen its number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases topping 40,000, Anne, a French national, is thoroughly enjoying an extended stay with her family at a resort in Hoi An, located in the central province of Quang Nam.

Anne told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper she considered herself lucky to have a place to stay in such a tranquil city as Hoi An, planning to only leave for home when the pandemic subsides.

Vietnam issued a series of administrative orders this month in response to drastic developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel restrictions that resulted in disruptions to a large number of outbound international flights.

The situation has left hundreds of foreign tourists stranded in Hoi An with no flights home.

Though being away from home, they are certainly not lonely: Hoi An government officials, accommodation owners, and local residents have shown no hesitation in making sure the visitors are provided with room, board, and every support they need for a comfortable stay.

Many tourists saw this as an opportunity to discover Hoi An in all its intimacy and austerity by immersing themselves into the local lifestyle, from grocery shopping, cooking to gardening as the locals do.

<em>Visitors help their accommodation owner prepare a meal in Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Photo: </em>Quoc Viet / Tuoi TreVisitors help their accommodation owner prepare a meal in Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Photo: Quoc Viet / Tuoi Tre
<em>Swedish Kalbassi Christian Bahram (left) and his wife bid goodbye to their hosts after their stay at Sea Lavie Hoi An Resort & Spa in Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Photo: </em>Quoc Viet / Tuoi TreSwedish Kalbassi Christian Bahram (left) and his wife bid goodbye to their hosts after their stay at Sea Lavie Hoi An Resort & Spa in Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Photo: Quoc Viet / Tuoi Tre
<em>A thank-you letter written by ten-year-old Anais from France to her villa owner for preparing her birthday party and providing lodging for her family during their stay in Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Photo: </em>Quoc Viet / Tuoi TreA thank-you letter written by ten-year-old Anais from France to her villa owner for preparing her birthday party and providing lodging for her family during their stay in Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Photo: Quoc Viet / Tuoi Tre
<em>Chilean singer Josefina Fuentes Florin spends time in Hoi An with her stranded family members. Photo: </em>Quoc Viet / Tuoi TreChilean singer Josefina Fuentes Florin spends time in Hoi An with her stranded family members. Photo: Quoc Viet / Tuoi Tre
<em>A foreign tourist and her son ride a motorbike at An Villa in Cam Thanh Commune, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Photo: </em>Quoc Viet / Tuoi TreA foreign tourist and her son ride a motorbike at An Villa in Cam Thanh Commune, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Photo: Quoc Viet / Tuoi Tre
<em>European tourists applaud the owner of Hoa Co homestay (right) for allotting the entire premises for quarantined visitors in Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Photo:</em> Quoc Viet / Tuoi TreEuropean tourists applaud the owner of Hoa Co homestay (right) for allotting the entire premises for quarantined visitors in Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Photo: Quoc Viet / Tuoi Tre
<em>Guests at Sea Lavie Hoi An Resort & Spa prepare a meal in the venue’s kitchen in Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Photo:</em> Quoc Viet / Tuoi TreGuests at Sea Lavie Hoi An Resort & Spa prepare a meal in the venue’s kitchen in Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Photo: Quoc Viet / Tuoi Tre