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‘A Tourist’s Guide to Love’ Star Ben Feldman’s Vietnam Travel Diary


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I went to Vietnam in spring 2022 to movie A Vacationer’s Information to Love whereas the nation was nonetheless closed to Westerners [because of the pandemic], so it was actually particular. It felt like we had been sort of sneaking in. I like Rachael Leigh Cook dinner, and it is a ardour challenge for her. She was producing and starring in it, and he or she reached out asking if I’d be prepared to come back to Vietnam for a bit bit. I didn’t ask some other questions.

The film itself may be very a lot a love letter to Vietnam. Individuals there have been very excited it was opening again up and there was a film capturing there. Our crew — by and huge Vietnamese and a extremely, actually nice group of individuals — hadn’t labored in two years. Everyone tells you earlier than you go to Vietnam that they’re simply the nicest, best individuals, nevertheless it’s nonetheless shocking to see how true that’s.

This film was good as a result of it was the sort of half the place they may squeeze all my stuff into a pair weeks, totally in Hanoi, an unbelievably lovely metropolis. I imply, there’s loads to unpack as a result of a giant a part of that magnificence — the unbelievable structure and meals on this wealthy, vibrant tradition — is because of French colonialism. It’s this juxtaposition, a cognitive dissonance the place you’re saying, “That is lovely, however ought to I be discovering this lovely?” It’s not like Paris, the place you’re like, “Wow, fairly.” You’re conflicted if you happen to’re doing the homework.

Ben Feldman with Rachael Leigh Cook in Netflix’s A Tourist’s Guide to Love, which was released April 21.

Ben Feldman with Rachael Leigh Cook dinner in Netflix’s A Vacationer’s Information to Love, which was launched April 21.

Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

We had been staying on this previous, lovely lodge, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel, not removed from the Previous Quarter. Whenever you stroll exterior, all the flamboyant retailers are proper there. There’s promenade children taking footage in entrance of Dior, and you then stroll a number of blocks and it’s individuals promoting rooster toes in the course of the road and also you’re getting run over by mopeds. Each nook you flip is a totally completely different feeling.

I knew that when we wrapped and my spouse, Michelle, got here to hitch me, we’d be occurring this comfortable, romantic journey down the coast — the sort of journey that drives all people insane on Instagram. So in Hanoi, I made positive that I used to be up and throughout city, sitting in a tiny plastic chair, consuming soup on the sidewalk at 6 a.m. I attempted to eat and drink as a lot of the town as I might. One of many film crewmembers despatched me a large listing of all her favourite suggestions, and I believe I received most.

The actor (with his wife, Michelle) hiked at Nui Chua National Park while staying at the Amanoi.

The actor (together with his spouse, Michelle) hiked at Nui Chua Nationwide Park whereas staying on the Amanoi.


My favourite espresso store was Cong Caphe, an unbelievable place for coconut espresso, which is actually, like, a 7 million-calorie dessert. I found that pho is definitely breakfast! I didn’t understand that, and I believe most Individuals don’t know this. Particularly in a metropolis that’s so unbelievably scorching, it feels loopy to rise up and have soup very first thing, however then I began imagining how ridiculous Westerners should look, sitting round like 9-year-olds consuming sugar and syrup and pastries for breakfast.

I refuse to be the one that goes right into a international tradition and is ordering the lodge’s membership sandwich. I ate a number of bánh mì, pho and cherished this fragrant catfish dish known as cha cá lã vong. Occasionally, you’ve received to have fancy French meals too. We additionally tried to eat all of Vietnam on our final evening in Hanoi at Quan An Ngon, the place you would get actually each Vietnamese dish you’ve ever heard of.

For the film itself, all the pieces we shot was in a special lodge or espresso store or restaurant. We had a scene within the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi. It’s this gazillion-year-old custom and a extremely unbelievable factor to see — a present with puppets manipulated underwater. On my final day, we shot within the beautiful gardens of the Temple of Literature. You simply can’t imagine it’s actual.

After filming, we stayed in two motels, each loopy fancy however as a result of Vietnam wasn’t open to Westerners but, they had been manner cheaper than they might be now, which I can not stress sufficient to any reader of this obnoxious Hollywood actor bragging about his fancy lodge.

The Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An, was very excited to have us, to the purpose the place, ready in our room, there was a cake with an edible {photograph} they googled of me. I had booked it by means of AmEx, and there are a bazillion Ben Feldmans, and but by some means they knew. In Vietnam, the hospitality is fairly subsequent degree.

Ben Feldman - Vietnam - Travel Diary

Feldman on the 4 Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An with the edible {photograph} of himself.

Courtesy of topic

Hoi An [a coastal city south of Hanoi] is simply essentially the most charming metropolis on planet Earth. It has this Venetian-style canal going by means of it, and at evening, when the solar goes down, they mild all these lovely lanterns and make needs on them and set them off into the water. It’s additionally the place you may get a bespoke costume or swimsuit made for you in like a day, which we did. I’d return to Hoi An in a second.

Feldman’s snapshot of the busy lantern-lit waterfront area in Hoi An.

Feldman’s snapshot of the busy lantern-lit waterfront space in Hoi An.


From there, we went farther south to a dream lodge, Amanoi, beside Nui Chua Nationwide Park, which is in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. All the things was good and beautiful. There have been swimming pools and an unbelievable seaside, and we’ll do not forget that lodge for the remainder of our lives.

Amanoi - Resort - One-Bedroom Residence - Vietnam

A one-bedroom Ocean Pool Residence on the Amanoi in Vietnam.

Tim Gerard Barker © Amanresorts

We’re so inundated with our very uniquely American perspective of Vietnam by means of all of the warfare motion pictures, and so I solely ever imagined the bush and the jungle. However the seashores are actually unbelievable, and those we had been on had been wonderful, particularly within the bays with historic rock formations jutting straight out of the water.

Earlier than I went to Vietnam, I rewatched that Anthony Bourdain: Elements Unknown episode in Hanoi, the one the place Barack Obama joins him. Anthony Bourdain has this lovely monologue about how Vietnam “grabs you and doesn’t allow you to go.” And he was proper. I’ll find it irresistible perpetually. It takes lots of planning and greater than 20 hours of journey to get to Vietnam — I’d a lot moderately get dwelling and go, “Properly, that was good. I can test that off my listing.” However I can’t. Vietnam remains to be on my listing, and it’s going to stay there till I’m lifeless.

This story first appeared within the April 26 problem of The Hollywood Reporter journal. Click here to subscribe.

Pavan Kumar
Pavan Kumarhttps://site.viagracc.com
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