Hoi An, Viet Nam – A day in early June, an ad popped up on my phone screen while I was surfing on Facebook. It showed photos of beautiful places all over the country, beneath the photos says: “to travel is to love your country”.
Funnily, just 1 month ago, The Guardian has praised Vietnamese artists for using their talent to join the nation’s Covid-19 fight.
Artist Le Duc Hiep, who picturized people joining hands with masked medics as soldiers in the fight, used the slogan “to stay at home is to love your country”
There’s no place like Hoi An when 70 percent of the workforce working in the tourism sector. Thus, Hoi An is likely to be far more affected by the Covid-19 than any other city in Vietnam.
As of June 3, 2020, after 1,5 months with no new local transmission Covid-19 cases, with the social-distancing lifted all over the country. The normal life is coming back to the people living in the city that famous for their UNESCO site Hoi An Ancient Town.
The town resumes all tourist activities along its pedestrian-friendly streets from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
All the popular destinations set to welcome back tourists on June 1 including the Bay Mau Coconut Forest, Thanh Ha Pottery Village, and Tra Que Village.
I usually go to An Bang Beach for the sunrise swim. It was summer; the sun wakes up early, at 5:30 when I arrived, the beach was already full of people enjoying the calm waves and the 1st sunbeams.
In Vietnam, people love to go to the beach in the early morning. The beautiful sunrise at the beach is something too familiar to the locals.
However, back in April, following the social-distancing rule, all the beaches were shut, there were always military officers guarding the primary entrance and even blocked all the small exits to the beach.
Now the locals can come back to their favorite morning rituals, to their normal life.
All the restaurants have reopened their businesses and offering big discounts to draw their customers back.
At night time, cafes are full of locals hanging out after a summer sweltering day. Exceptionally, some restaurants that cater to international tourists remain closed for the lack of customers.
Hoi An is a shopping paradise for international tourists, especially tailoring. There’re over 400 tailors in Hoi An, their businesses are heavy reliance on foreign tourists.
With Vietnam’s borders remain closed, most of the tailor shops stay shut, they even returning the shop to cut the future losses despite the generous rent cuts offered by the landlords.
All the hotels have reopened their business, even though they have no choice but to cut back staff to reduce costs.
Hotels have been offering discounts, including free services, in an attempt to maintain operation and stay alive, especially they’re running big discounts to attract more Vietnamese tourists for the upcoming summer season.
Now you can easily find a hotel night at a 4-star hotel for just $30/night.
The tourist sector is so important to Hoi An, all the people working in the tourism industry have made significant changes to their usual operations to keep their business alive and wait for the tourists to come back.
Hopefully, that won’t be too long.