Our fleet of vintage Vespa scooters traveled around Hue City, passing the “filming studios.” Before our eyes were familiar daily scenes, but they became precious for us.
The first filming location we visited was “Mat Biec” (Dreamy Eyes) coffee shop which was the setting for some scenes in a Vietnamese film of the same name directed by Victor Vu. Mac Biec, screened in February last year, was one of top five Vietnamese films earning VND100 billion in 2019.
Since then, the simple coffee shop has attracted both locals and tourists. The couple running the coffee shop is doing business in a more professional way. Bao Vinh, an ancient town, where the coffee shop is has also become busier.
We sat together to play guitar and sing at the cafe. Our Vespa drivers who often wait for tourists also joined with us on that day. The sound of the guitar and our voices was like the sound of waves slapping against paddles on a section of river flowing through Bao Vinh town. We left the coffee shop, our mind filled with ideas about how to improve local tourism.
Hue City is focusing on community-based tours that need help from local residents. Better operation of those like “Dreamy Eyes” coffee shop will lead to the development of surrounding convenient services, such as parking areas, tours of floating markets and gift shops.
Our next destination was An Hien Garden House which was also a setting for some scenes in “The Royal Bride,” the film which became the fastest Vietnamese movie to hit the VND100 billion mark early this year. Although most of us are from Hue, when listening to Hue songs in the house we felt that the old peaceful city was waking up. We sipped a cup of tea in An Hien where old ladies told us about traditional worshipping rituals while young people like us showed them new technology and trends.
After saying goodbye to our Vespa drivers, we continued our trip by car to Do Do Village and Lonely Tree which are also filming locations of “Dreamy Eyes” movie. The peaceful poetic countryside boasts river wharf, clump of sugar cane, banyan tree and rice field, which are familiar scenes of Vietnam’s rural areas.
During the summer trip marked by flamboyant flowers in full bloom and the sound of cicadas, we were enchanted by tourism hotspots which left us with interesting memories and great photos. The trip is a “gift” that reminds us about our youth and helps us temporarily forget the hustle and bustle of life.
By Bao Man Sala