In 2016, 10 million international tourists visited Vietnam, but some of the faces passing through are a little more recognizable than others. You’ll never guess who all of the celebrities are who have visited Vietnam. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for anyone!
Brad & Angelina
The now split Hollywood A-list couple are well known for the incredible family they created through adoption over the years. Their son, Pax, was adopted at the age of three from an orphanage in Binh Duong, and has since returned in 2011 with his adopted family to visit his first home. Angelina has mentioned that she places plenty of emphasis on her children learning about their individual heritage, and because of this the family make a point of regularly returning. “They are learning about each other’s cultures as well as being proud of their own.” Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, with their six kids in tow, touched down in Con Dao airport and enjoyed a luxury stay in the Six Senses Resort there.
New | Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt in Vietnam pic.twitter.com/9vBrMmG78Z
— Angelina Jolie (@joliestweet) December 22, 2015
Since then, the couple have visited several times, including a trip in 2015 to our native treasure Halong Bay, where they got stuck into some local activities. Considering their recent split, there’s a pretty slim chance we’ll be seeing them visit Vietnam together again, but it’s likely some version of the family unit will make a trip back to keep Pax in touch with his Vietnamese heritage.
Barrack Obama & Anthony Bourdain
The U.S. President’s face adorned magazine covers throughout the country as he became the third U.S. President to visit Vietnam. In May of 2013, the President flew into Hanoi to meet with Vietnamese dignitaries and discuss the political and economic relations of the two countries. As a result of the visit, the 50 year long arms embargo from the U.S was finally lifted, which was considered to be a big step in the direction of creating a more equal relationship between the U.S. and Vietnam. After hours, Obama was famously pictured enjoying some authentic Vietnamese street food with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. The cheapness and tastiness of local food plus the easy going local beers are a winning formula for many visitors of Vietnam, and indeed a President is no exception. Their ‘$6 dinner’ became an internet sensation instantly, racking up almost 200,000 likes on social media. “Think you’re cool? You’ll never be eating noodles, drinking beer and sitting on low plastic chairs while talking to Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama in Vietnam-cool,” tweeted New York resident Jon Hopper.
Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer. pic.twitter.com/KgC3VIEPQr
— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) May 23, 2016
Mark Zuckerberg & Priscilla Chan
Facebook CEO and his wife spent their 2011 Christmas holiday in Northern Vietnam. Christmas Eve was passed in Halong Bay, where they hired the Phoenix Cruise ship to explore the Bay; followed by Christmas Day in Sapa at Topas Ecolodge where they were pictured riding water buffalo. The couple also visited the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, paying homage to the American prisoners who were held here during the War.
In 2011, Ramsay made a trip over to Vietnam to film for a new episode of ‘Gordon’s Great Escape’. His appreciation of Vietnamese food is pretty widely known for those who follow his shows and his cooking, and his visit to Vietnam solidified this. In the episode that resulted from his trip, Ramsay gets his head around some of the more exotic native dishes, including snake. Lesser known about his 2011 visit, was that he made a trip up to the coastal getaway of Mui Ne, where he visited local restaurant Lam Tong- a favourite of many in the town.
— Gordon Ramsay (@GordonRamsay) February 23, 2013
Arsenal football team
During their Asia Tour back in 2013, the team made a stop in Vietnam’s capital city- Hanoi. The real story that emerged from their visit was that of the ‘Running Man’, local fan Vu Xuan Tien, who ran alongside their bus as it drove through the city for near 5 miles. With shouts of “sign him up!” coming from the team members onboard the bus, eventually the driver pulled over and let the dedicated fan onboard to meet his heroes. Gunners manager Arsene Wegner said “He kept on running when all the others stopped and he refused to give up”, giving plenty of inspiration for the rest of the team, who allegedly suffered the hot and humid conditions while playing in Vietnam. As for a visit in the future, Wegner says “We’ll try to come back here because it has been such a positive experience. But the decision is not only down to me. Vietnam must want us to come back too.”
Our video featuring the ‘Running Man’ has now been viewed over one million times on YouTube – you can watch it here: http://t.co/il7roPxUcM
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) July 17, 2013
The ‘Marcella’ actress travelled to Con Dao with her daughter Gracie back at the end of 2016. She’s another in the line of A-Listers to stay in the luxurious Six Senses Resort on the eco-friendly island. The resort, dedicated to reducing carbon footprints, holds just 50 private villas, and is so spaced out Anna reports “not seeing another soul” for the entire day sometimes. Anna wrote a wonderful account of her stay on the island, which she described as something her and her daughter “will never forget”. The pair spent their days unwinding on the beach, paddle boarding daily, taking part in some of the Resort’s offerings (singing bowl meditation was mentioned) and visiting some of the local sites like the Con Dao Prison.
The ‘Hunger Games’ actor visited Vietnam during a South East Asia trip with his friends back in January 2015. Pictured in Halong Bay, he described his visit to the World Heritage Site as one of the “most amazing” experiences of his life. He uploaded pictures to his own social media accounts looking like he had been enjoying the local party life- one pic even sporting a #hungover hashtag.
His movie ‘Kong: Skull Island’, shot in Vietnam, has smashed the country’s box office and become the highest ever opening day revenue in Vietnamese movie history. The director visited Hawaii, Australia and Thailand in effort to find a location for what has been without doubt the most challenging job of his career- but Vietnam won out in the end. He described the awe he was struck with upon seeing the scenery of Vietnam’s Northern provinces for the first time, and knowing straight away this would be the setting for Kong. The movie opened in March of this year in Ho Chi Minh, with a rather eventful ceremony at which a 10 meter tall statue of King Kong caught fire, sending the premiere up in flames. Despite the drama, Vogt-Robert’s impressions of Vietnam remain high, with rumors that he is considering moving here soon to pursue a personal movie endeavor.
“I honestly don’t think the rest of the world truly knows how beautiful this country is and how amazing the people are and how incredible the food is”
he said. The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has since cast a unanimous vote to appoint Jordan as the new Ambassador for Tourism (2017-2020).
To celebrate GODZILLA 2 starting filming – Gareth Edwards & I went to Skull Island to wish everyone luck…No one bothered to show up. Help! pic.twitter.com/XgfihfZ4UF
— Jordan Vogt-Roberts (@VogtRoberts) June 19, 2017