South Korean tourists enjoy new normal laidback holiday in Vietnam

 They relaxed, played golf, watched dazzling art performances and gazed at stunning sunsets. The first new normal South Korean visitors to Phu Quoc had a good time.

On Saturday, 204 South Korean tourists landed at the Phu Quoc Airport, making them the first group of foreign tourists to the island off the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang after nearly two years of border closure.

They were taken to Vinpearl Resort & Spa on Long Beach, where they were tested for the novel coronavirus before going to their rooms on electric bus shuttles.

The South Korean visitors wear masks as they enjoy a leisurely walk in the five-star resort Saturday afternoon.

Kim Dong Wan, 24, said that during two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, he and a group of close friends had stayed put at home and missed traveling. As soon as he learned about the vaccine passport program in Phu Quoc, he signed up to visit Vietnam.

"I am very happy to be one of the first international visitors to Phu Quoc and hope the whole team has a memorable holiday."

Visitors have dinner at the resort's Pepper restaurant and watch the sunset from Long Beach, one of the most pristine beaches on Phu Quoc Island. The menu was a buffet with herring salad, coconut milk pancakes, coconut rice and fresh seafood.

On the second day of the holiday, some of the tourists carved out of a forest in the north of the island. Some others chose to visit the 18,800-square-meter Corona Casino, the largest in Vietnam.

These two South Koreans opted to experience some adventurous games at VinWonders Phu Quoc, Vietnam's largest theme park.

Visitors record a performance in the water park area on their phones.

An open electric shuttle bus takes tourists to the Vinpearl safari animal care and conservation park.

This sanctuary is home to 400 species of plants and 2,000 wild animals representing 140 different species, some of which are rare and endangered. It's also designated as a center for research, breeding and preserving some of the world's rarest flora and fauna.

The park's staff introduces the tourists to a group of birds.

The visitors watch an art show called "The Quintessence of Vietnam" performed by more than 300 dancers on a stage covering 11,000 square meters.

The South Korean tourists are expected to leave Phu Quoc Tuesday.

Jae Jong, 27, expressed his delight at visiting Vietnam for the second time and on experiencing a drizzle when he did.

"I am very happy to be here today (Saturday). A small rain is a sign of good luck. Vietnam's tourism will soon recover to where it was before the pandemic."

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